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Cryptomining Malware Is Infecting Corporate Networks Worldwide

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2018-08-03 17:05

by Victor Tangermann, Futurism
Security firm Kaspersky Lab just exposed an international cryptocurrency mining ring that is using malware software called PowerGhost to spread across vast corporate networks. The malware is infecting anything from workstations to entire server farms, using corporate hardware to dedicate a portion of the computer’s power to mine a yet-unknown cryptocurrency. Once a computer is infected, a script downloads the mining tool, which uses the hardware’s processing power to solve complex computational problems. The small amounts of cryptocurrency it mines gets sent back to the attacker’s wallet; the virus, meanwhile, launches a copy of itself to infect other computers connected to the same network. Previous analyses by Kaspersky Lab and security firm Skybox suggested that it is more profitable for cybercriminals to install cryptocurrency mining malware, rather than holding data hostage using ransomware. Browser-based cryptojacking attacks rose 80 percent in 2017, they found.

Cryptomining Malware Is Infecting Corporate Networks Worldwide

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Report: Education Dept. Will End ‘Gainful’ Rules

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2018-08-03 17:03

By Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed
The Education Department plans to eliminate rather than revise Obama-era rules that required for-profit and vocational programs to prove that they are preparing graduates for gainful employment, according to a memorandum obtained by The New York Times. A decision to pull the plug on the gainful-employment regime, which had been bitterly contested by for-profit colleges and strongly supported by advocates for consumers and students, would represent the latest in a series of actions by the Trump administration to undermine or reverse rules put in place by the Obama administration to protect the integrity of federal financial aid programs.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/07/27/report-education-dept-will-end-gainful-rules

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The Increasing Presence of IoT and How to Prepare Your College Campus

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-08-02 17:24

by IOT for all

When it comes to the campus, IoT-enabled technologies can let students know when their laundry is washed, track traffic patterns to plan sidewalk construction, track an athlete’s behavior and progress and monitor environmental factors for optimal training. This also means that the staff can control electricity, lighting and plumbing to prevent issues and deal with problems on time, not when they occur. In the classroom, IoT can track how emotions affect learning, study the posture of students, give us insights into how biological factors affect emotions, and improve safety and ease of life on campus. There are some concerns, however, like privacy, number of the devices involved or bandwidth demands, but IoT is still evolving and at this point the benefits far outweigh doubts.

The Increasing Presence of IoT and How to Prepare Your College Campus

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Textbook Trade-Offs

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-08-02 17:20

by Emma Whitford, Inside Higher Ed
It’s well documented that textbooks aren’t cheap, but for some students, affording course materials takes priority over paying for meals or flights home, or pursuing their first choice of major. A new study by Morning Consult for Cengage, an educational technology and services company, asked 1,651 current and former college students how purchasing textbooks figures into their financial picture. Forty-one percent of those students said that textbooks and other course materials had “somewhat of an impact” on their financial situation, and 46 percent said that it had “a big impact.” “We truly are in an access crisis,” said Richard Baraniuk, a professor at Rice University and founder of OpenStax, a nonprofit that provides access to free digital editions of textbooks. “Over the past 40 years, college textbook prices have risen about 1,000 percent, which is extraordinary.”
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/07/26/students-sacrifice-meals-and-trips-home-pay-textbooks

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Temple Rankings Scandal: From Bad to Worse

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-08-02 17:15

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

The rankings scandal at Temple University keeps getting worse.  This month, after an independent investigation, the university admitted that its Fox School of Business had for several years intentionally submitted false data to boost the rankings of its online M.B.A. program. The falsehoods were about standardized admissions tests, grades of new students, debt of graduates and more. The independent investigation hinted that the lies might have extended beyond the online M.B.A. On Wednesday, the university said that was in fact the case. A statement it released said that false data had been submitted for rankings purposes by six other programs at the business school.

https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2018/07/26/temple-admits-it-provided-false-rankings-data-six-more-programs

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Columbia U Opens Research Center Devoted to Blockchain Tech

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-08-02 17:10

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

A new center at Columbia University will focus on research and innovation in blockchain technology. The institution partnered with IBM to create the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency, which will “combine cross-disciplinary teams from the academic, scientific, business and government communities to explore key issues related to the policy, trust, sharing and consumption of digital data when using blockchain and other privacy-preserving technologies,” according to a news announcement.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/07/23/columbia-u-opens-research-center-devoted-to-blockchain-tech.aspx

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Online classes help Eastern Michigan, WCC students earn degrees from home

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-08-02 17:05

By Martin Slagter, MLive

Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College have bolstered efforts to attract non-traditional students through online offerings in recent years as credit hours for in-state students have been on the decline.  MaggiAnn Monroe is the kind of “non-traditional” student that colleges and universities are trying to attract to their online degree programs. Monroe, 36, graduated as a licensed practical nurse eight years ago before earning an associate degree in nursing from Kellogg Community College in 2015. Today, she works as a registered nurse at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson. After completing her first shift work and driving home, she makes dinner for her children before putting them to bed. When the day is “done,” she gets back to work earning her bachelor of science in nursing degree from Eastern Michigan University. She does her work online.

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2018/07/as_credit_hours_fall_emu_and_w.html

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World Campus researches effectiveness of VR headsets and video in online classes

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-08-02 17:02

by the Penn State University

Penn State instructional designers are researching whether using virtual reality and 360-degree video can help students in online classes learn more effectively. Designers worked with professors in the College of Nursing to incorporate 360-degree video into Nursing 352, a class on Advanced Health Assessment. Students in the class, offered online through Penn State World Campus, were offered free VR headsets to use with their smartphones to create a more immersive experience while watching the video, which shows safety and health hazards in a patient’s home. Bill Egan, the lead designer for the Penn State World Campus RN to BSN nursing program, said students in the class were surveyed as part of a study approved by the Institutional Review Board and overwhelmingly said that they enjoyed the videos and thought they provided educational value. Eighty percent of the students said they would like to see more immersive content such as 360-degree videos in their online courses, he said.

https://news.psu.edu/story/529049/2018/07/25/research/world-campus-researches-effectiveness-vr-headsets-and-video-online

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Inconsistent Use of Credentials by Manufacturers

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-08-01 17:24

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Employers in the manufacturing industry use credentials inconsistently, generally not relying on them as a major factor in hiring or promotion decisions, according to the results of a survey conducted by Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an operating unit of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The survey’s 945 respondents from across the industry identified several primary reason for their inconsistent use of credentials, including a lack of awareness, a preference for on-the-job training and a recognition that experience is a more valuable predictor of performance.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/07/26/inconsistent-use-credentials-manufacturers

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Montana sets example for other states by using data to drive policy

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-08-01 17:20

By Jenna Leventoff, National Skills Coalition

Montana sets example for other states by using data to drive policy
A new case study, How Montana is using data to drive policy change, written in collaboration between the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and the Workforce Data Quality Campaign shows how data-driven decision making can help states create education and workforce policies that can help them compete in a 21st century economy. The paper outlines how Montana educational institutions, employers, and policymakers have used data to not just understand the effectiveness of their state’s education and workforce policies, but to make decisions that will help the state meet labor market demand.

https://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/news/blog/montana-sets-example-for-other-states-by-using-data-to-drive-policy

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Cybersecurity worker shortage a national security issue amid infiltration of utility companies

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-08-01 17:14

by Matt Parke, Working Nation

The vulnerability of the U.S. energy infrastructure to outside intrusion from hackers was exposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during a briefing on Monday. The agency’s warning about a cyberattack on electrical grids underscores a cybersecurity worker shortage and a brewing national security issue of protecting critical infrastructures. The Wall Street Journal reported that Russian hackers have come close to disrupting critical services with stolen credentials from trusted vendors. According to DHS’ Jonathan Homer, they were within reach of causing catastrophic electrical blackouts and their threat signals the potential for an attack in the future. The DHS did not say whether a cyberattack was imminent.

Cybersecurity worker shortage a national security issue amid infiltration of utility companies

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Inconsistent Use of Credentials by Manufacturers

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-08-01 17:05

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Employers in the manufacturing industry use credentials inconsistently, generally not relying on them as a major factor in hiring or promotion decisions, according to the results of a survey conducted by Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an operating unit of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The survey’s 945 respondents from across the industry identified several primary reason for their inconsistent use of credentials, including a lack of awareness, a preference for on-the-job training and a recognition that experience is a more valuable predictor of performance.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/07/26/inconsistent-use-credentials-manufacturers

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Cybersecurity worker shortage a national security issue amid infiltration of utility companies

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-08-01 17:02

by Matt Parke, Working Nation

The vulnerability of the U.S. energy infrastructure to outside intrusion from hackers was exposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during a briefing on Monday. The agency’s warning about a cyberattack on electrical grids underscores a cybersecurity worker shortage and a brewing national security issue of protecting critical infrastructures. The Wall Street Journal reported that Russian hackers have come close to disrupting critical services with stolen credentials from trusted vendors. According to DHS’ Jonathan Homer, they were within reach of causing catastrophic electrical blackouts and their threat signals the potential for an attack in the future. The DHS did not say whether a cyberattack was imminent.

Cybersecurity worker shortage a national security issue amid infiltration of utility companies

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Temple Rankings Scandal: From Bad to Worse

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-08-01 17:01

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

The rankings scandal at Temple University keeps getting worse.  This month, after an independent investigation, the university admitted that its Fox School of Business had for several years intentionally submitted false data to boost the rankings of its online M.B.A. program. The falsehoods were about standardized admissions tests, grades of new students, debt of graduates and more. The independent investigation hinted that the lies might have extended beyond the online M.B.A. On Wednesday, the university said that was in fact the case. A statement it released said that false data had been submitted for rankings purposes by six other programs at the business school.

https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2018/07/26/temple-admits-it-provided-false-rankings-data-six-more-programs

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How Essay-Writing Factories Reel In Vulnerable Students

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-07-31 17:20

By Daphne Taras, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Two years ago I decided to prove that the essay-writing business is a scourge, and that professors must become more aware of the allure of bespoke cheating. I googled “essay writing services” and selected, at random, one of many websites. I logged onto it, and I was given a number of promises, including that none of the work would be plagiarized (yes, I see the irony), and that all the essays would be written exclusively for my needs. But the real discovery for me wasn’t that I could cheat. Cheating is ubiquitous. The lesson was how well the essay labs have adopted new technologies. The amount of follow-up, the creation of a dashboard, the customization to suit my needs, and the relentless pressure to purchase. College recruiting could learn a thing or two about how to land customers using similar data analytics. This is a serious industry that operates in the shadows, and it is a threat to our own industry of advanced education. Take it seriously. Buy an essay and see for yourself. It’s worth the $120 investment.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-Essay-Writing-Factories/243878

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The Best Learning Blends Online and Instructor-Led Courses

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-07-31 17:15

by Adam Hickman and Shane McFeely, Gallup

Companies increasingly see the need to have workers who are continuously learning — which is to say, they see the need to be a culture of learning and development. In a competitive, market-driven business environment, success can depend on workers who can develop and apply knowledge, who can take advantage of opportunities and who can create more. But to be a learning organization requires a culture of development and that takes a real investment in employee education. That investment, the research shows, will get the best return when it’s geared toward individual learning preferences — which is the great advantage of a blended learning approach. Blended learning strategies are most effective to help managers and their teams learn and grow.

https://www.gallup.com/workplace/237743/best-learning-blends-online-instructor-led-courses.aspx

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Moody’s: Private-College Closures at 11 Per Year

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-07-31 17:10

By Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

Private college closures have risen to a rate of about 11 per year, and the rate at which campuses are shut down is expected to increase in the future, according to a new report published by Moody’s Investors Service Tuesday. The report comes a few years after a notorious prediction the ratings agency made in September 2015 — that closure activity would as much as triple and mergers would double by 2017. As of the prediction, private nonprofit closures were averaging five per year, meaning as many as 15 institutions could have been ending operations annually by 2017. Although the headline-grabbing tripling of closures has yet to come to fruition, a significant uptick has indeed taken place. And Moody’s is still projecting a future increase in closures toward the range of 15 per year.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/07/25/moodys-private-college-closures-11-year

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How Essay-Writing Factories Reel In Vulnerable Students

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-07-31 17:04

By Daphne Taras, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Two years ago I decided to prove that the essay-writing business is a scourge, and that professors must become more aware of the allure of bespoke cheating. I googled “essay writing services” and selected, at random, one of many websites. I logged onto it, and I was given a number of promises, including that none of the work would be plagiarized (yes, I see the irony), and that all the essays would be written exclusively for my needs. But the real discovery for me wasn’t that I could cheat. Cheating is ubiquitous. The lesson was how well the essay labs have adopted new technologies. The amount of follow-up, the creation of a dashboard, the customization to suit my needs, and the relentless pressure to purchase. College recruiting could learn a thing or two about how to land customers using similar data analytics. This is a serious industry that operates in the shadows, and it is a threat to our own industry of advanced education. Take it seriously. Buy an essay and see for yourself. It’s worth the $120 investment.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-Essay-Writing-Factories/243878

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The Best Learning Blends Online and Instructor-Led Courses

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-07-31 17:02

by Adam Hickman and Shane McFeely, Gallup

Companies increasingly see the need to have workers who are continuously learning — which is to say, they see the need to be a culture of learning and development. In a competitive, market-driven business environment, success can depend on workers who can develop and apply knowledge, who can take advantage of opportunities and who can create more. But to be a learning organization requires a culture of development and that takes a real investment in employee education. That investment, the research shows, will get the best return when it’s geared toward individual learning preferences — which is the great advantage of a blended learning approach. Blended learning strategies are most effective to help managers and their teams learn and grow.

https://www.gallup.com/workplace/237743/best-learning-blends-online-instructor-led-courses.aspx

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Why We Need To Rethink Conventional Graduation Rates As A Measure Of Colleges’ Success

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2018-07-30 17:24

by Marvin Krislov, Forbes

In the academic world, we have run into a statistical dead end in assessing how our students are performing. I want to propose a way of breaking through the issue so that our colleges and universities are able to keep pace with, and measure, the deep changes impacting our economy and society and the role higher education must play. The main storehouse of data on college performance is the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, called IPEDS. IPEDS produces an “overall graduation rate” for every college in the country, and that statistic is a key factor in college rankings, from U.S. News & World Report to the College Scorecard to the newly prominent Google college search results.   Under the IPEDS definition, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, both of whom transferred colleges, and Mitt Romney, who both transferred and took time off for his Mormon mission, would be considered nongraduates. An alternative metric to the federal graduation rate is the Student Achievement Measure, or SAM. Developed by a consortium of higher-education associations with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, SAM is designed to provide a more accurate picture of student progress and success. It includes transfer students and part-time students alongside full-time students, and it tracks progress at public and private colleges and universities and two- and four-year institutions.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marvinkrislov/2018/07/23/why-we-need-to-rethink-graduation-rates-as-a-measure-of-colleges-success

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