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Students Get Immersive AI Boost to Learn Mandarin

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-09-13 17:20

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Imagine the process of going into a restaurant and ordering food. Simultaneously, you could be glancing through the menu while also listening to and speaking with the waiter or your companions. When you’re in a place where people are speaking a different language, the complexity of those activities increases multifold. A project taking place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) hopes to understand how the use of an immersive environment and artificial intelligence can help students practice foreign language skills and increase their confidence when speaking. The researchers are using simulated experiences to test out their ideas. The Cognitive Immersive Room, or “situation room,” allows students to feel as though they’re in restaurant in China, a garden or a Tai Chi class. While immersed in the environment, they practice speaking Mandarin with an AI chat agent powered by IBM Watson. The immersive classroom was developed by the Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab, a research collaboration between IBM Research and RPI. The space taps several technologies: speech-to-text, natural language understanding and computer vision.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/08/29/students-get-immersive-ai-boost-to-learn-mandarin.aspx

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7 Reasons to Use a Digital Assistant (like Alexa) in Your Classroom

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-09-13 17:15

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

We have come a long way from chalkboards and gradebooks. When you take a look at today’s modern classroom, you will find edtech taking over – Smartboards and mobile devices are becoming commonplace in the classroom. And, now, teachers are embracing another form of technology: the digital assistant. We are using digital assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, in our daily lives, so why not use them in the classroom? Just as they help us navigate our lives with reminders and directions, they can help our students navigate lessons. Still unconvinced? Here are seven reasons to use a digital assistant in your classroom:

7 Reasons to Use a Digital Assistant (like Alexa) in Your Classroom

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Today’s College Students Aren’t Who You Think They Are

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-09-13 17:05

by Elissa Nadworny, NPR

So here’s a snapshot of the 17 million Americans enrolled in undergraduate higher education, according to numbers culled by the National Center for Education Statistics.

  • 1 in 5 is at least 30 years old
  • About half are financially independent from their parents
  • 1 in 4 is caring for a child
  • 47 percent go to school part time at some point
  • A quarter take a year off before starting school
  • 2 out of 5 attend a two-year community college
  • 44 percent have parents who never completed a bachelor’s degree

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/09/04/638561407/todays-college-students-arent-who-you-think-they-are

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College students say they want a degree for a job. Are they getting what they want?

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-09-13 17:04

By Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post

A recent Harris Poll found that two-thirds of 14- to 23-year-old students want a degree to provide financial security, ranking it above all else when it comes to their motivation for going to college. At the same time, fewer students are majoring in the humanities, according to newly released government data. More flock toward science, technology, engineering and math majors — known collectively as STEM — that they think will burnish their employment prospects. While unemployment among recent college graduates is at historic lows, underemployment is not. Some 40 percent of college graduates are underemployed, meaning they are in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Colleges have been slow to react to this shift in the mind-set of students, largely resisting efforts to make campuses look and act more like trade schools — and for good reason.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2018/09/01/college-students-say-they-want-a-degree-for-a-job-are-they-getting-what-they-want/

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$10M gift expands William & Mary online MBA program

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-09-13 17:04

by James Paterson, Education Dive
The College of William & Mary will expand its online graduate business degree offerings through the new School of Business Center for Online Learning funded by a longtime supporter’s $10 million gift, one of the largest donations the department has ever received. The W&M Raymond A. Mason School of Business will offer a wider array of students more access to online graduate-level instruction. The center is the next step in the college’s plan established five years ago to offer an MBA online, which started in 2015, and a business analytics master’s degree, which launched this summer. Officials say they expect to quadruple online offerings soon. W&M has one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios among U.S. institutions, according to college officials, including in its online business school courses. They also say the low ratios help attract prominent faculty members to the online business program, which has an average retention rate of about 90%, above the national average.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/10m-grant-expands-william-mary-online-mba-program/531593/

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Workforce development, entrepreneurship are growing priorities for public research universities

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-09-13 17:03

by Hallie Busta, Education Dive
Land grant and other large research universities are taking on the mantle of workforce development and fostering entrepreneurship — long the domain of community colleges and vocational programs — and that federal government partnerships are essential to doing so, the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities explained in a policy position paper released Wednesday. The paper discusses five areas that universities and federal policymakers must address to ensure higher education institutions are meeting workforce needs. Those include supporting rural communities, establishing American leadership in advanced manufacturing, and bolstering innovation and entrepreneurship within institutions. The high-level recommendations are intended as a reference point for progress achieved by partnerships to date as well as a jumping-off point for future collaborations.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/workforce-development-entrepreneurship-are-growing-priorities-for-public-r/531685/

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Learning Blockchain

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-09-12 17:26

by Tom Vander Ark, Forbes
Juha Mikkola, co-founder of Wyncode Academy, a coding school, said some developers are being paid double the going rate for their blockchain experience. “It’s not just tech companies that need this talent, it’s real-estate, non-profits, and banks,” Mikkola said. Leading university computer science programs have been quick to respond. According to new research, 42 percent of the top 50 universities in the world offer at least one course on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. MIT offers a six-week online blockchain certificate program (in partnership with 2U). Oxford offers a similar six-week certificate program (also powered by 2U).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanderark/2018/09/01/learning-blockchain/#1e107701b04f

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How Is The Skills Transformation Impacting Modern Work?

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-09-12 17:20

by Anant Agarwal, Forbes

Today, there’s a new shift happening in our digital and service-focused economy: rapid skills transformation. The job market is changing so rapidly that the skills needed to perform these jobs transform every few years, intensifying pressure on workers to learn continually and, in some cases, transition entirely into new and emerging fields. EdX recently conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers aged 25-44 and found that 29% of respondents had completely changed fields since starting their first job post-college. Strikingly, only about 20% of those surveyed said that the education from their college major still applied to their current field. The career fluidity illustrated by this survey is a far cry from factory workers who’d spend decades at the same station.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/anantagarwal/2018/08/29/how-is-the-skills-transformation-impacting-modern-work/#75273d6c25ff

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This cool new program helps kids develop better tech habits

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-09-12 17:15

BY STACEY PUSEY, eSchool News

The program, which is taught by Seton Hall law students, targets students in fifth and sixth grade, typically the age when they get their first cell phone. It’s a time when parents feel like they are losing control of their kids, yet the kids still have the capability to learn good technology habits. Since students are getting phones at younger and younger ages, they don’t have the cognitive ability to understand the ramifications of their actions and need parental guidance. Thus, the program has both a student curriculum and parent talk. Parents need to learn what privacy really means in the digital world and how their tech usage affects their children. The program focuses on collaboration and helping students and parents discuss good technology habits together.

This cool new program helps kids develop better tech habits

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Chrome 69 released with new UI and random password generator

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-09-12 17:12

By Catalin Cimpanu, ZDnet
After celebrating Chrome’s ten-year anniversary on Sunday, Google released today version 69 of the Chrome browser, one of the most feature-rich versions in recent years. With today’s release, Chrome now joins Mozilla and Microsoft as browser makers who completely redesigned their browsers. Firefox went through two major UI updates with the Aurora and Quantum releases, Microsoft replaced Internet Explorer with the lighter Edge, and, today, Google gave Chrome its first major facelift since its release in 2008. This new user interface is easy to spot because it uses a predominantly white color tone along with rounded tabs, a big shift from Chrome’s regular grayish UI with angled tabs.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/chrome-69-released-with-new-ui-and-random-password-generator/

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Platforms that support as virtual tutors in new age education system

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-09-12 17:04

by Business Standard
Teachers play a vital role in the process of learning as they impart education and encourage students towards reaching their ambition. The disruption in the education sector and living in an age where digital learning has impacted almost everyone around us. Virtual Tutors have gained popularity due to its effective teaching methods where a student is not bound to time or location. These methods have been very fruitful for this digitally influenced generation as it creates a platform where a student can interact, learn and grow along with the learners from different parts of the world.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/platforms-that-support-as-virtual-tutors-in-new-age-education-system-118090300598_1.html

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Students Get Immersive AI Boost to Learn Mandarin

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-09-12 17:02

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Imagine the process of going into a restaurant and ordering food. Simultaneously, you could be glancing through the menu while also listening to and speaking with the waiter or your companions. When you’re in a place where people are speaking a different language, the complexity of those activities increases multifold. A project taking place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) hopes to understand how the use of an immersive environment and artificial intelligence can help students practice foreign language skills and increase their confidence when speaking. The researchers are using simulated experiences to test out their ideas. The Cognitive Immersive Room, or “situation room,” allows students to feel as though they’re in restaurant in China, a garden or a Tai Chi class. While immersed in the environment, they practice speaking Mandarin with an AI chat agent powered by IBM Watson. The immersive classroom was developed by the Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab, a research collaboration between IBM Research and RPI. The space taps several technologies: speech-to-text, natural language understanding and computer vision.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/08/29/students-get-immersive-ai-boost-to-learn-mandarin.aspx

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Higher ed administrators can better serve adult learners — here’s how

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-09-11 17:25

by James Paterson, Education Dive

Enrollment experts caution: Don’t make assumptions. Adult learners typically bring a wider variety of concerns and struggles — as well as strengths and skills — than do traditional prospects. Thomas Gibbons, dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Northwestern University, said colleges must develop deliberate efforts to better understand adult learners and their concerns. Wayne Smutz, dean of the Extension program at the University of California, Los Angeles, said colleges need to show these students — perhaps even more so than traditional students — how they can pay for their education and how their investment will pay off.  “Time is a critical resource for adult learners,” he said. “Having to stand in line, being put on hold on the telephone for extended periods of time, and other delays or confusing messages are critical problems for adults. Universities need to find ways to have expedited services.”

https://www.educationdive.com/news/higher-ed-administrators-can-better-serve-adult-learners-heres-how/530932/

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Top 10 Online Learning Sites To Advance Communication Skills at Work

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-09-11 17:20

by Tripti Rai, LifeHack

Being a perfect communicator comes with time and experience after being in a series of difficult situations. Everyone of us, no matter which geographical area we belong to, more often than not, face similar issues in our career that tend to shape us as either a good communicator or a bad one. Lack of communication skills is one of the most misunderstood terms. It is rarely about the language proficiency or how much you fumble when you talk. It is more about how we voice out and react to an unfavorable situation that stands in front of us. Knowing how to react in a situation helps gives us the confidence that ultimately shapes us as good communicators and even leaders. In this article, we will be looking at the different situations that we come across everyday, which helps define us as good communicators or bad ones. Along with every situation, we have mentioned a link to the course/website you can visit to better the situation at hand and come out as an expert communicator.

https://www.lifehack.org/785450/online-learning-sites

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How to Get Back on Track in Your Class after Falling Behind

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-09-11 17:15

By Trudy Doleman, APUS

Just as you hit your stride finding the right balance between study times, work, family and personal time — something happens. It could be a 24-hour illness, an increase in your workload, a death in the family or even an unexpected deployment to a part of the world with spotty Internet connectivity at best. Any number of factors have the potential to cause you to miss at least one of your weekly class deadlines. Before you know it, one missed assignment grows into several missed assignments and you have fallen way behind in your class. What are your options? Is it possible to recover and complete the class? Yes, it is possible to recover and there are several options available to you.

How to Get Back on Track in Your Class after Falling Behind

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Learning Blockchain

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-09-11 17:10

by Tom Vander Ark, Forbes
Juha Mikkola, co-founder of Wyncode Academy, a coding school, said some developers are being paid double the going rate for their blockchain experience. “It’s not just tech companies that need this talent, it’s real-estate, non-profits, and banks,” Mikkola said. Leading university computer science programs have been quick to respond. According to new research, 42 percent of the top 50 universities in the world offer at least one course on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. MIT offers a six-week online blockchain certificate program (in partnership with 2U). Oxford offers a similar six-week certificate program (also powered by 2U).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanderark/2018/09/01/learning-blockchain/#1e107701b04f

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How Is The Skills Transformation Impacting Modern Work?

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-09-11 17:04

by Anant Agarwal, Forbes

Today, there’s a new shift happening in our digital and service-focused economy: rapid skills transformation. The job market is changing so rapidly that the skills needed to perform these jobs transform every few years, intensifying pressure on workers to learn continually and, in some cases, transition entirely into new and emerging fields. EdX recently conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers aged 25-44 and found that 29% of respondents had completely changed fields since starting their first job post-college. Strikingly, only about 20% of those surveyed said that the education from their college major still applied to their current field. The career fluidity illustrated by this survey is a far cry from factory workers who’d spend decades at the same station.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/anantagarwal/2018/08/29/how-is-the-skills-transformation-impacting-modern-work/#75273d6c25ff

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Will big brands disrupt higher education?

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-09-11 17:03

Daniel Pianko, Carol D’Amico, Tech Crunch

In the years to come, who will hospitality hiring managers trust to credential students: Cornell University or the Four Seasons? Will it be Google or Penn State that sets the standards that determine who qualifies as a good computer programmer? Could GE define competency in aeronautic engineering rather than Vaughn College? Should employers place more value in a fashion credential backed by the editors of Vogue or the Pratt Institute? The formula is simple: Well-structured, branded programs will be superior to an unbranded degree. They will give elite institutions a run for their money. It’s only a matter of time before the U.S. News & World Report rankings are riddled with global brands.

Will big brands disrupt higher education?

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Higher ed administrators can better serve adult learners — here’s how

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2018-09-10 22:10

by James Paterson, Education Dive

Enrollment experts caution: Don’t make assumptions. Adult learners typically bring a wider variety of concerns and struggles — as well as strengths and skills — than do traditional prospects. Thomas Gibbons, dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Northwestern University, said colleges must develop deliberate efforts to better understand adult learners and their concerns. Wayne Smutz, dean of the Extension program at the University of California, Los Angeles, said colleges need to show these students — perhaps even more so than traditional students — how they can pay for their education and how their investment will pay off.  “Time is a critical resource for adult learners,” he said. “Having to stand in line, being put on hold on the telephone for extended periods of time, and other delays or confusing messages are critical problems for adults. Universities need to find ways to have expedited services.”

https://www.educationdive.com/news/higher-ed-administrators-can-better-serve-adult-learners-heres-how/530932/

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Why More Colleges Should Treat Students Like Numbers

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2018-09-10 17:25

by Kevin Carey, Washington Monthly

A few universities are using predictive analytics to boost student success. Are they outliers—or the wave of the future? USF and a small but growing number of colleges and universities are at the forefront of using information technology and advanced statistical analysis to see students in whole new ways. By sifting through vast stores of information that have accumulated in various administrative and educational data systems, they are discovering patterns about students that they never knew about before—why some succeed while others fail, and what can be done to help them. As a result, they’re starting to crack the stubborn, widespread problem of high college dropout rates, and point toward a future where besieged public institutions can continue to thrive.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/september-october-2018/why-more-colleges-should-treat-students-like-numbers/

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