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The lure of learning analytics

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2019-05-03 17:02

By NAVNEET ALANG, University Affairs

At its most basic, learning analytics is simply the analysis of data related to learning, and thus encompasses even rudimentary acts like taking attendance or calculating average test scores in a class. But, as digital technology evolves, the amount and types of data one can collect continues to expand. Think about the variety of digital tools a student might use: online courses in which they work out calculus or physics equations step-by-step; digital textbooks that can track which parts are highlighted and by how many users; or, even more futuristic technology that tracks eye movement to see where a student’s attention is focused. What might one be able to do with all these data?


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36% of college grads with student loans say the debt wasn’t worth it—here’s what experts say

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2019-05-02 17:15

Megan Leonhardt, CNBC
Almost half of young adults have student loan debt. And 36% of college graduates paying off student loans say now that taking on that debt wasn’t worth it, according to a new report by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, which surveyed over 2,700 early adults (defined here as those ages 18 to 34). A smaller poll by GoBankingRates recently arrived at similar conclusions: It found that, while a vast majority of Americans with college degrees don’t regret college itself, many do say the student debt they incurred wasn’t worth it.


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9 universities partner to craft standards for digital records

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2019-05-02 17:10

By Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive
Nine universities from around the world announced Tuesday that they are teaming up to explore how emerging technologies like blockchain can help them give students a digital version of their academic record, including badges, certifications, internships and traditional degrees. The U.S. institutions involved in the project are Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of California System’s Berkeley and Irvine campuses. Such digital records would allow students to securely own and share their information instead of having to go back to the relevant institution each time they need proof of their accomplishments, said Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s vice president for open learning, in the announcement.


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China’s Blockchain Dominance: Can the U.S. Catch Up?

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2019-05-02 17:05

By all counts, China is leading the world in the use and development of blockchain technology. It has far and away filed the most patents related to blockchain in the world and some of the biggest names in the blockchain and cryptocurrency community are Chinese firms. What’s more, blockchain is also a national priority: The Chinese State Council included its development in the nation’s 13th Five-Year Plan. And last year, President Xi Jinping said China seeks to lead in innovation worldwide, citing blockchain, AI, the Internet of Things and other technologies as the driving forces.


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Artificial Intelligence vs. Cognitive Computing in Education: How They Differ?

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2019-05-02 17:02

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Cognitive computing is an extension of AI with one significant added component: cognitive computing systems are able to interact with humans using natural language.  IBM defines cognitive computing as,” systems that learn at scale, reason with purpose and interact with humans naturally. Rather than being explicitly programmed, they learn and reason from their interactions with us and from their experiences with their environment.” The big difference here being that cognitive computing agents are able to interact naturally with humans. AI are systems that follow a complicated set of rules to arrive at outcomes. Their usefulness is limited to structured data; they are not able to process unpredictable, nonlinear data, like natural speech. On the other hand, cognitive systems are probabilistic, meaning they can handle probabilities and uncertainties. They are able to make sense out of the changeability of unstructured information.


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Code as a Second Language Institute Launches to Increase Latinos in Tech

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2019-05-01 17:25


As early as next year, more than half of all jobs will require technical skills. Yet, a majority of students still do not learn to code in or even outside of school. Panasonic Foundation and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HFF) have partnered to launch the National Code as a Second Language (CSL) institute in Newark as an effort to shrink the STEM accessibility gap. The six to eight-week coding course will also launch in three other cities across the country: Reno, Nevada;  Atlanta, Georgia; and Calexico, California. “This initiative with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Panasonic and The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Newark-Ironbound will afford our students access to the very best in education so that they will become global citizens to meet the growing demand of computer science careers,” Superintendent of Newark Public Schools Roger León said in a statement.


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How to Use Data Analytics to Improve Development and Design of e-Learning Platforms

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2019-05-01 17:20

Times Square Chronicles

Learning, development, and training programs are critical parts of an organization that wants to keep its workforce on its toes with the latest market trends and technological evolutions. However, successful and impactful learning and training programs are those that are designed, developed and managed in a way to increase employee productivity.  The impact often measures the success of an e-learning platform it has on improving employee engagement, employee retention, and employee performance and productivity. All of this translates to a better run and a more efficient and competitive organization. With the help of data analytics, the information available today can be collected, interpreted, analyzed and presented in a way that turns a mediocre and mundane training program into a highly personalized, interactive and absorbing one.


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Disney, Starbucks, Walmart: Big companies are increasingly offering education benefits for employees

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2019-05-01 17:17

Akiko Fujita, Yahoo Finance
Squeezed by a tight labor market and shrinking pool of employees, big corporations like Starbucks and Disney are increasingly turning to a new tool for recruitment: education.  Companies are partnering with universities to offer employees fully-subsidized Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in hopes of attracting ambitious workers who want to build out their careers. “There are so many new jobs that are either coming or that are here already. So it is shifting from an employer standpoint: How you have to differentiate yourself?” said Chris Trout, VP of learning and development at The Walt Disney Company, speaking at the recent ASU GSV Summit in San Diego.


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Quantum Leap Into the Future of Education

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2019-05-01 17:10

By Ray Schroeder, Inside HIgher Ed
Quantum computing will burst onto the educational technology scene. Are you preparing now? The quantum era will soon be upon us. The changes we will see will far outpace even those we saw in the development of personal computers, smartphones and broadband networking — combined. IBM has already created a commercial quantum computer prototype, the IBM Q System One.  We should begin to visualize adaptive learning models in which the power and speed of quantum computing may best serve the individualized needs of our students. An awesome quantum future awaits us!


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How new learning modes will shape the ‘future of work’

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2019-05-01 17:03

Hallie Busta, Education Dive
The function and makeup of the workforce will change as industries adapt to new technology and processes, raising questions about how educational models are responding to deliver relevant training, explains a new white paper from the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group. The report examines eight possible outcomes for the future of work based on three variables: educational models, workers’ economic mobility and the rate of technological advancement. A combination of the outcomes is most likely, the authors note.  One common theme throughout the outcomes is what the report positions as a consequence of educational models being slow to adapt to workforce needs: displaced workers competing for fewer jobs as industries become increasingly automated.


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Purdue Partners with Cisco, Lilly for Corporate Ed

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2019-05-01 17:02

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
Purdue University is expanding into the corporate learning realm with two new deals with Fortune 500 corporations Cisco Systems and Eli Lilly and Co. The institution worked with each company to create custom courses for their employees, with a focus on providing high-quality content in a flexible online format.  “One thing we have learned is that companies want flexibility in their online education,” said Gerry McCartney, executive vice president for Purdue Online, in a statement. “We are able to offer an immediately available product that works for one company’s learner cohorts rather than requiring the usual academic scheduling.


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