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An ‘Education and the Workforce’ Agency?

News & Thoughts - Sat, 2018-06-30 17:02

By Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

A White House proposal to merge the Departments of Education and Labor has reignited a long-running debate about whether the worker training and education functions of the federal bureaucracy should be distinct or part of the same operation — and whether there might be better ways to create a more coherent system for educating and training Americans. The proposal is part of a broader plan to overhaul much of the federal government released by the Trump administration Thursday. The White House said the new agency, dubbed the Department of Education and the Workforce, would better align postsecondary education programs with the needs of the work force. It’s likely to face steep odds of advancing in Congress, which must approve any such reorganization. Democratic lawmakers were quick to blast the announcement as unrealistic and a coded plan to cut government investments.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/06/22/white-house-merger-plan-reignites-debate-education-training

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Survey: Most Students Say Online Learning Is as Good or Better Than Face-to-Face

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2018-06-29 17:24

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

In a survey of 1,500 students who are seriously considering, currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a fully online program, most (86 percent) considered the value of their degree equal to or greater than the cost they paid to take it. Among those who have attended face-to-face and online courses, the majority (85 percent) said that online learning is as good as or better than attending courses on campus. In fact, two-thirds of online college students (67 percent) reported that they’d achieved the original goal that motivated them to enroll in their program; graduate students were more likely than undergraduates to feel that way (76 percent vs. 62 percent). The survey was conducted by Learning House, a company that manages online programs for colleges and universities, and Aslanian Market Research, a research arm of EducationDynamics, which performs student prospecting and enrollment management.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/06/18/most-students-say-online-learning-is-as-good-or-better-than-face-to-face.aspx

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Georgia State Uses A Chatbot To Attack ‘Summer Melt’

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2018-06-29 17:19

by MARTHA DALTON, WABE

A lot of students find themselves in similar situations in the summer, says Lindsay Page, an education professor at the University of Pittsburgh who has researched summer melt. She says it can be easy for upcoming freshmen to feel lost in the summertime. A lot of students find themselves in similar situations in the summer, says Lindsay Page, an education professor at the University of Pittsburgh who has researched summer melt. She says it can be easy for upcoming freshmen to feel lost in the summertime.  Page teamed up with GSU to develop the program that helped Birchell and other students. It’s a chatbot called “Pounce” that can text back and forth with students. “The Pounce system would ask students, ‘What questions do you have? What can we help with?’” Page says.

https://www.wabe.org/georgia-state-uses-a-chatbot-to-attack-summer-melt/

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Tech Giants Accused of Addicting Kids to Technology: Is it true?

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2018-06-29 17:16

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Some psychologists have in fact made the case that technology companies are intentionally perverting what we know about how the brain works to get people addicted to their platforms. It seems that some people are better at overcoming the allure of technology, but, for many people, the pull is just as real and just as powerful as any other substance to which one might become addicted. Since tech companies want to turn a profit, it would not be surprising to learn that they use the best tools available, including what we know about how the brain works, to make that happen. But that is not a universal opinion. Other scholars claim that, while technology can certainly be appealing, framing it as an addiction is not only scientifically inaccurate but likely to lead to a sense of panic that is not helpful in teaching children to moderate their behavior. They claim that scientific evidence simply does not back up the claim that technology is addictive in the same way that, for example, nicotine is.

Tech Giants Accused of Addicting Kids to Technology: Is It True?

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College Credit MOOCs that Are Still Free to Access

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2018-06-29 17:10

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
It has become a truism that MOOCs aren’t always open anymore. Increasingly, courses pegged as massive, open and online are actually intended for use in for-credit programs that help people earn partial degrees (as long as they’re enrolled in a university program and pay tuition). Sometimes these courses can’t even be audited by people who are interested in the subject but don’t necessarily want the credit or fees. Class Central recently made a list of all the courses it could locate that are part of for-credit programs and are still free to access. There are 370 of them, according to the company, which operates an online MOOC search engine and curates a MOOC catalog. According to publisher Dhawal Shah, the search found offerings from 49 different universities, with subjects “spanning technology, business, the arts and engineering.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/06/20/college-credit-moocs-that-are-still-free-to-access.aspx

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The Audacity to Innovate: Pioneering an Online J.D. Program

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2018-06-29 17:06

By Christopher P. Chapman, Inside Higher Ed

The good news for aspiring lawyers and our society is that many law schools have taken the initiative to evolve their curriculum to meet tomorrow’s needs, improve teaching and student services, and increase access. Syracuse University College of Law’s implementation of the nation’s first live, online J.D. program stands out for its audacity and its far-reaching potential to dramatically improve access and affordability. And recently, the University of Dayton School of Law announced that it too plans to offer a program that blends online and on-campus instruction beginning in August 2019. One of the immediate advantages of hybrid and online programs is the flexibility they allow, as flexibility begets access. Syracuse or Dayton may now become an option for a talented student for whom the opportunity and other costs of a residential program would have been too high even to consider

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2018/06/13/importance-online-innovation-legal-education-opinion

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How Blockbuster MOOCs Could Shape the Future of Teaching

News & Thoughts - Fri, 2018-06-29 17:04

By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

There isn’t a New York Times bestseller list for online courses, but perhaps there should be. After all, so-called MOOCs, or massive open online courses, were meant to open education to as many learners as possible, and in many ways they are more like books (digital ones, packed with videos and interactive quizzes) than courses.  The colleges and companies offering MOOCs can be pretty guarded these days about releasing specific numbers on how many people enroll or pay for a “verified certificate” or microcredential showing they took the course. But both Coursera and EdX, two of the largest providers, do release lists of their most popular courses. And those lists offer a telling snapshot of how MOOCs are evolving and what their impact is on the instructors and institutions offering them.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-06-19-how-blockbuster-moocs-could-shape-the-future-of-teaching

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From Founding CEO Of One Of The Largest FinTechs To CEO Of The Largest EdTech – Coursera

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-06-28 17:25

by Peter High , Forbes

Jeff Maggioncalda was recently named CEO of Coursera. I have interviewed both founders of the company, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, so I was curious about Maggioncalda’s perspective on the company, education technology and the massive open online courses more generally, and his own background as an entrepreneur. Regarding the last point, Maggioncalda was previously the founding CEO of Financial Engines Inc, a company that was founded by Nobel Prize winner William Sharpe and recently sold for $3 billion. During his 18 years as CEO of Financial Engines Inc, Maggioncalda had to pivot three times from his original idea before becoming a success. Financial Engines would go on to become the largest independent online retirement advice platform with more than $100 billion under management.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterhigh/2018/06/18/from-founding-one-of-the-largest-fintechs-to-ceo-of-the-largest-edtech-coursera/

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Is AI disrupting higher education?

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-06-28 17:20

by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
The workplace of the future will be marked by unprecedentedly advanced technologies, as well as a focus on incorporating artificially intelligent algorithms of automation to drive higher levels of production with fewer resources. Employers and education stakeholders, noting the reality of this trend, question whether students will be workforce ready in the years to come. This has become a significant concern for higher education executives, finding that their business models could be disrupted as they fail to meet workforce demands. A 2018 Gallup and Northeastern University survey shows that of 3,297 U.S. citizens interviewed, only 22% of those with a bachelor’s degree said their education left them “well” or “very well prepared” to use AI in their jobs.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/is-ai-disrupting-higher-education/525130/

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How we improved decision making at Indiana University

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-06-28 17:14

BY AARON NEAL, eCampus News
You don’t have to look far to understand that data is arguably an organization’s most valuable asset. The Economist declared that “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data,” while Facebook is being scrutinized over its handling of data and how it may have been used to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. However, many higher education institutions fail to recognize the value of the data they hold beyond their day-to-day operational needs. In 2015, Indiana University embarked on the Decision Support Initiative (DSI). Our goal was to improve decision making at all levels of the university by dramatically enhancing the availability of timely, relevant, and accurate information to support decision makers.

How we improved decision making at Indiana University

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What does the future of online learning look like? – report

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-06-28 17:10

By Study International Staff
Every year an increasing number of students take to their computers and access education through online or distance learning programmes. However, this could be set to change according to Learning House’s annual report with Aslanian Market Research (AMR). The report found that increasing annual numbers of online students are set to slow by 2019. In 2017 alone online programmes saw an increase of 3 percent, totalling 3.85 million full or majority distance learning candidates worldwide, but this is likely to reduce in coming years according to Eduventures. The market is expected to peak at 4 million students in 2019 and 2020 before leveling off as the global economy improves and the number of high school graduates falls.  Competition is also getting fiercer among institutions that provide online learning as they strive to outdo each other and prove they can help students reach their goals, or risk losing out to other, more competent providers. The report revealed four key findings; courses must be mobile-friendly, online students need access to career services, online learning is good value for money, and online programs are becoming increasingly diverse.

What does the future of online learning look like? – report

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From Founding CEO Of One Of The Largest FinTechs To CEO Of The Largest EdTech – Coursera

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-06-28 17:05

by Peter High , Forbes

Jeff Maggioncalda was recently named CEO of Coursera. I have interviewed both founders of the company, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, so I was curious about Maggioncalda’s perspective on the company, education technology and the massive open online courses more generally, and his own background as an entrepreneur. Regarding the last point, Maggioncalda was previously the founding CEO of Financial Engines Inc, a company that was founded by Nobel Prize winner William Sharpe and recently sold for $3 billion. During his 18 years as CEO of Financial Engines Inc, Maggioncalda had to pivot three times from his original idea before becoming a success. Financial Engines would go on to become the largest independent online retirement advice platform with more than $100 billion under management.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterhigh/2018/06/18/from-founding-one-of-the-largest-fintechs-to-ceo-of-the-largest-edtech-coursera/

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Is AI disrupting higher education?

News & Thoughts - Thu, 2018-06-28 17:02

by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
The workplace of the future will be marked by unprecedentedly advanced technologies, as well as a focus on incorporating artificially intelligent algorithms of automation to drive higher levels of production with fewer resources. Employers and education stakeholders, noting the reality of this trend, question whether students will be workforce ready in the years to come. This has become a significant concern for higher education executives, finding that their business models could be disrupted as they fail to meet workforce demands. A 2018 Gallup and Northeastern University survey shows that of 3,297 U.S. citizens interviewed, only 22% of those with a bachelor’s degree said their education left them “well” or “very well prepared” to use AI in their jobs.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/is-ai-disrupting-higher-education/525130/

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VR Interface Lets Students Explore Civil Engineering

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-06-27 17:25

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
An open immersive virtual reality interface for pre-university and first-year students allows them to explore engineering disciplines, such as structural or hydraulics, as part of engaging their interest in STEM careers. The VR program allows the user to navigate through a 3D model of a building and see the construction components that are “normally hidden” behind other layers, such as the plumbing, columns, slabs and beams. “Civil Virtual Reality Laboratory” is openly available online and can be tested using the HTC VIVE headset, the corresponding controller and a VR-ready computer.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2018/06/07/vr-interface-lets-students-explore-civil-engineering.aspx

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3 higher ed experts share their blended learning advice

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-06-27 17:20

BY THOMAS GOLDRICK, eCampus News
With a growing non-traditional student population, many colleges and universities are looking to blended learning technology and strategy to meet their pedagogical needs. But finding a combination of online and in-person components that match the expectations of both students and faculty can be daunting. Thankfully, higher ed’s collaborative culture makes networking and sharing expertise with other IT professionals easier. On March 1st, the higher ed IT Professional’s Meetup gathered at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., to discuss how attendees could find the right blend for their university’s blended learning offerings. A panel of industry experts came together: Eric Palson, director of academic technologies at Babson College; Kristen Palson, director for Simmons Online at Simmons College in Boston; and Gaurav Shah, director of academic technologies at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. Elmore Alexander, the dean of the Ricciardi College of Business at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass., moderated the discussion.

3 higher ed experts share their blended learning advice

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Southern New Hampshire U Issues Blockchain Credentials to College for America Grads

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-06-27 17:15

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
This spring, graduates of Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America are receiving their bachelor’s and associate degrees as both paper diplomas and Blockcerts, digital credentials based on blockchain technology. SNHU partnered with Learning Machine for its digital diploma project; the software company co-developed Blockcerts with the MIT Media Lab in 2016. Because Blockcert credentials can be linked to any blockchain (such as Bitcoin or Ethereum), they can be read and verified anywhere in the world without the need to check with the original issuer.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/06/11/southern-new-hampshire-u-issues-blockchain-credentials-to-college-for-america-grads.aspx

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How Blockchain Can Truly Revolutionize Higher Education

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-06-27 17:08

by Ryan Craig, Forbes

Credentials are a currency. And as far as it goes, higher education’s current degree-currency is an unwieldy one – not unlike the giant stone coins from the island of Yap. These coins – up to 13 feet in diameter – were laboriously mined and shipped from Palau, an island nearly 300 miles away. On Yap, they remained in one place, and unit ownership was transferred virtually; because the community was small and tight-knit, everyone knew the current ownership of every stone coin. Blockchain – or distributed ledger technology (DLT) – is a similar digital solution for a community that’s not so small or tight-knit. To achieve a Yap-topian virtual currency, DLT codes ownership of the currency unit into the currency itself in the form of a lengthy data file that is built, stored and verified in a distributed manner. So the analogy for credentials is clear. Credly, the leading provider of digital credentials, has demonstrated the power of unbundling credentials down to the level of the competency and thousands of employers, associations, training providers, colleges, and universities are already issuing digital credentials via Credly. (My firm, University Ventures, is an investor in Credly.)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryancraig/2018/02/22/how-blockchain-can-truly-revolutionize-higher-education/#43d3e55326b7

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A computer program that learns to “imagine” the world shows how AI can think more like us

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-06-27 17:05

by Will Knight, MIT Technology Review

Machines will need to get a lot better at making sense of the world on their own if they are ever going to become truly intelligent. DeepMind, the AI-focused subsidiary of Alphabet, has taken a step in that direction by making a computer program that builds a mental picture of the world all by itself. You might say that it learns to imagine the world around it. The system, which uses what DeepMind’s researchers call a generative query network (GQN), looks at a scene from several angles and can then describe what it would look like from another angle.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611453/a-computer-program-that-learns-to-imagine-the-world-shows-how-ai-can-think-more-like-us/

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How we improved decision making at Indiana University

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2018-06-27 17:03

BY AARON NEAL, eCampus News
You don’t have to look far to understand that data is arguably an organization’s most valuable asset. The Economist declared that “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data,” while Facebook is being scrutinized over its handling of data and how it may have been used to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. However, many higher education institutions fail to recognize the value of the data they hold beyond their day-to-day operational needs. In 2015, Indiana University embarked on the Decision Support Initiative (DSI). Our goal was to improve decision making at all levels of the university by dramatically enhancing the availability of timely, relevant, and accurate information to support decision makers.

How we improved decision making at Indiana University

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People with More Education Have a More Positive View of the Internet

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2018-06-26 17:25

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
The share of online adults who say the internet has been good for society is on the decline. While 76 percent in 2014 said the internet has been “mostly” good, by 2018, the proportion sharing that sentiment had dropped to 70 percent. Among older adults, those 65 and older, the shift was starkest, dropping from 78 percent in 2014 to 64 percent this year. Young people — ages 18 to 29 — were slightly more upbeat; 79 percent said the internet has been mostly good for society in 2014 compared to 74 percent in 2018. These results came from a phone survey of 2,002 adults, 18 years or older, run by the Pew Research Center during January 2018.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/06/12/people-with-more-education-have-a-more-positive-view-of-the-internet.aspx

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