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The evolution of ransomware: Get ready for more advanced social engineering tactics

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2017-12-27 16:25

by Leah Brown, Tech Republic

Prepare your company for more sophisticated, complex, and devastating ransomware attacks in 2018, says Avecto COO Andrew Avanessian.  End users are the easiest thing in the world to dupe into clicking something, Avanessian said. If a hacker can socially engineer a user into using their code, they get control over a network. Cybercriminals have moved away from trying to hack a system to now leveraging the internal users, or employees in order to use them as a way to execute their own code. “If you get someone to use your code there are very little ways to detect that because it’s user-initiated activity,” he said.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-evolution-of-ransomware-get-ready-for-more-advanced-social-engineering-tactics/

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New Media Consortium Suddenly Ceases Operations

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2017-12-27 16:20

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
In an e-mail announcement, the New Media Consortium revealed that it will cease operations immediately. The e-mail stated: “The New Media Consortium (NMC) regrets to announce that because of apparent errors and omissions by its former Controller and Chief Financial Officer, the organization finds itself insolvent. Consequently, NMC must cease operations immediately. “NMC would like to sincerely thank our loyal and dedicated community for its many vital contributions since its inception in 1994. NMC is grateful to its current executive director and NMC staff for their tireless efforts to connect people at the intersection of innovation and technology.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/12/18/new-media-consortium-suddenly-ceases-operations.aspx

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Survey: 94% of Students Want to Use Their Cell Phones in Class

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2017-12-27 16:16

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

A whopping 94 percent of students in a recent survey said they want to use their cell phones in class for academic purposes.  The survey found that a large number of students — 75 percent — believe using personal devices in the classroom has improved their ability to learn and retain information. Fifty-eight percent of respondents use their phones to take pictures of lecture slides; 41 percent use them to Google answers to in-class questions; and 39 percent use them to access a digital textbook. On the other hand, 54 percent also use cell phones to text friends and 52 percent use them to browse social media during class.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/12/12/students-want-to-use-their-cell-phones-in-class.aspx

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UMass plans to go national with an expanded online program

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2017-12-27 16:10

By Deirdre Fernandes, Boston Globe

The University of Massachusetts is planning a major expansion of its online education programs, turning to a highly paid executive as it challenges more-entrenched competitors across the country. Facing a decline in college-age students in Massachusetts and uncertainty about state funding of higher education, the university system believes it can find new money by serving out-of-state students willing to enroll in online programs. Currently, the University of Massachusetts markets its online offerings only regionally.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/12/25/umass-plans-expand-online-education/MHSrrqxi5fiWWzlvLGpBiI/story.html

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Enrollment Slide Continues, at Slower Rate

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2017-12-27 16:05

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

College enrollments in the U.S. decline for a sixth straight year — although at a slower rate — while the bachelor’s degree got more popular. Overall college enrollments in the U.S. have declined for a sixth straight year, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, but at the slowest pace since the slide began. The 1 percent decline this fall was due to undergraduate enrollments, which fell by nearly 224,000 students, or 1.4 percent. Among undergraduates, the center found an enrollment decrease of 2.3 percent for associate-degree seekers, and a 10.7 percent drop for students pursuing certificates or other nondegree credentials. But enrollments were up 1.5 percent among four-year-degree seekers.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/12/20/national-enrollments-decline-sixth-straight-year-slower-rate

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Eastern Washington adopts Microsoft’s data science program

News & Thoughts - Wed, 2017-12-27 16:03

by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
Eastern Washington University has adopted courses from Microsoft’s Professional Program in Data Science, a move that officials said allowed it to quickly develop a degree in specialized data analytics. The new courses allow students to complete a BS in data analytics and earn a professional credential from Microsoft, according EWU’s website.
Initiatives like this one are proliferating among tech companies as they try to fill the shortage of graduates with expertise in data and computer science, said Charles Eaton, executive vice president for social innovation at the Computing Technology Industry Association, in an article in The Hechinger Report. Statistics show 40% of employers have trouble finding workers with these skills, according to Hechinger.
In addition to Microsoft, other companies like Linux are teaming up with institutions such as MIT and Harvard through edX, the online learning and MOOC provider, to offer online courses that provide students specialized skills, along with exercises in critical thinking and collaboration.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/eastern-washington-adopts-microsofts-data-science-program/513334/

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Three Things to Think About Now that Net Neutrality Rules Are Reversed

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2017-12-26 16:25

by Susan Gentz, Converge

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday on a party line vote 3-2 to reverse the 2015 net neutrality rules. Now that things will be changing a bit when it comes to what Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can and can’t do, it’s important for school districts to keep them accountable, and perhaps begin negotiations. Here are three important things for district leaders to consider.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/blog/Three-Things-to-Think-About-Now-that-Net-Neutrality-Rules-Are-Reversed.html

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Using Virtual Reality in the Real-Life Classroom

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2017-12-26 16:20

by Student Stone Kessler, Converge
Although we are currently in the infancy stage of using virtual reality as an avenue through which curriculum is delivered, this technology has tremendous potential for connecting students not only with one another, but with the world around them.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/blog/Using-Virtual-Reality-in-the-Real-Life-Classroom.html

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Student outcomes is the only metric that matters in EdTech

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2017-12-26 16:15

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

EdTech companies use lots of metrics to measure the success of their products. Profits, number of products sold, and market share are among the ways that EdTech firms use to determine whether a product has been successful. But none of these metrics are as important as one thing—student outcomes. In most industries, companies are primarily focused on profits. In EdTech, you have to do business with schools or universities. These institutions don’t operate like traditional businesses. Working with non-profit institutions requires a different mindset than the corporate world. The goal of education is to teach students, not to make money. That means when designing an EdTech product, the only metric that companies need to look at is student outcomes. Student outcomes are the first thing schools will want to hear about when purchasing an EdTech product. If you can show that your product will deliver the results they want, other factors won’t matter.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/student-outcomes-metric-matters-edtech/

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Virtual High Schools: 2017 Top Stories

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2017-12-26 16:10

By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

Virtual high schools certainly made headlines in 2017. From coming to the rescue of thousands of displaced students following this fall’s hurricanes to creating new options for students living in rural and isolated communities, virtual high schools not only expanded but gained currency over the course of the past year. Here’s a recap of just some of eLearningInside News‘ top virtual high school stories.

Virtual High Schools: 2017 Top Stories

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What to Expect in an Online Public Health Master’s Program

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2017-12-26 16:05

By Jordan Friedman, US News

Online MPH programs typically have a practicum requirement where students work at a health organization, experts say. Though whether students can or must attend an on-campus residency varies, experts say most online MPH degrees do have a face-to-face practicum requirement. These typically allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life situations, says Todd Nicolet, vice dean for the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, which is launching an online MPH with a public health leadership concentration in 2018.

https://www.usnews.com/higher-education/online-education/articles/2017-12-18/what-to-expect-in-an-online-masters-program-in-public-health

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Warning: Cyber breaches more likely over holiday break

News & Thoughts - Tue, 2017-12-26 16:03

By Alison DeNisco Rayome, Tech Republic
Poor employee cyber hygiene may put companies at heightened risk for attack over the holiday break, according to a new report from T-Systems. T-Systems, the corporate IT and cybersecurity arm of Europe’s largest telecom company, Deutsche Telekom, warns companies that security risks abound when companies allow employees to work over Christmas.  Of those surveyed, 24% said they use free Wi-Fi hotspots to access work-related emails and documents while out of the office, the report found—a major risk, as these insecure portals are easy for hackers to clone. Further, 10% of employees said they use free USB charging points at airports and stations, which can be used to transfer viruses and malware to unsuspecting victims.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/warning-cyber-breaches-more-likely-over-holiday-break/

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It takes time to create a successful edtech product

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2017-12-25 16:26

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

History tells us it takes time for an EdTech product to adapted and used in the classroom. This is because, in addition to the product itself, you must deal with school districts that require time to make financial decisions, as well as convince the buyer(s) that the product is worth the time it will take to learn and the overall cost According to Single Grain, “There’s the long sales cycle that lasts 9-18 months, which can be frustrating if your business model hinges on selling to school districts or other massive entities that take a long time to make a decision.” Therefore, those interested in the EdTech market should plan to invest a great amount of time and energy to make their product a success.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/takes-time-create-successful-edtech-product/

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When the Robots Come for Our Jobs, They’ll Spare the Teachers

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2017-12-25 16:22

By Louis Piconi, EdSurge

Estimates now suggest that up to 47 percent of U.S. jobs may disappear in the coming decades due the rise of automation. But at the same time, “spillover” effects will fuel the creation of entirely new industries and job categories. These statistics reflect one of the greatest challenges—and opportunities—for teachers in our seemingly paradoxical modern economy. How can we prepare a generation of students to adapt and evolve, learn (and un-learn), in an era where technological advances are transforming the world of work, traditional educational pathways are under fire—and the half-life of skills hovers around five years?

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-12-14-when-the-robots-come-for-our-jobs-they-ll-spare-the-teachers

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Block and tackle: How to mitigate a cyberattack on your school

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2017-12-25 16:15

BY JOHN LENCKOS, eSchool News

Cyber-attacks have been making headlines after massive data breaches at Fortune 500 companies. According to a recent report by the Business Continuity Institute[1] and the British Standards Institution, nearly nine in 10 businesses worldwide are worried about the threat of cyber-attacks. Recently, the panic has spread to educational institutions. Unfortunately, schools, colleges and universities are perfect targets, often possessing out-of-date security systems and a wealth of sensitive, monetizable student data.  Experts warn these attacks are likely to increase, and educational institutions are increasingly prioritizing investment in technology and systems to prevent cybersecurity breaches.

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New Media Consortium Suddenly Ceases Operations

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2017-12-25 16:10

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
In an e-mail announcement, the New Media Consortium revealed that it will cease operations immediately. The e-mail stated: “The New Media Consortium (NMC) regrets to announce that because of apparent errors and omissions by its former Controller and Chief Financial Officer, the organization finds itself insolvent. Consequently, NMC must cease operations immediately. “NMC would like to sincerely thank our loyal and dedicated community for its many vital contributions since its inception in 1994. NMC is grateful to its current executive director and NMC staff for their tireless efforts to connect people at the intersection of innovation and technology.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/12/18/new-media-consortium-suddenly-ceases-operations.aspx

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Survey: 94% of Students Want to Use Their Cell Phones in Class

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2017-12-25 16:05

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

A whopping 94 percent of students in a recent survey said they want to use their cell phones in class for academic purposes.  The survey found that a large number of students — 75 percent — believe using personal devices in the classroom has improved their ability to learn and retain information. Fifty-eight percent of respondents use their phones to take pictures of lecture slides; 41 percent use them to Google answers to in-class questions; and 39 percent use them to access a digital textbook. On the other hand, 54 percent also use cell phones to text friends and 52 percent use them to browse social media during class.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/12/12/students-want-to-use-their-cell-phones-in-class.aspx

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Impatient with universities’ slow pace of change, employers go around them

News & Thoughts - Mon, 2017-12-25 16:03

by John Marcus, the Hechinger Report

“There’s just a giant gap there,” said Sean Gallagher, executive director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy at Northeastern University. Fewer graduates are emerging from the pipeline than are needed, he said. “I think that’s why the tech sector has been the place where these alternative models are being pioneered.” Tired of waiting, Microsoft, Linux and other employers have teamed up with edX, a collaboration started by Harvard and MIT to provide online education that is much easier than brick-and-mortar programs to keep up to date and to disseminate to vast numbers of students simultaneously. Microsoft, Linux and other employers have teamed up with edX, a collaboration started by Harvard and MIT to provide online courses, which are easier to keep updated than conventional university courses in fast-changing fields such as tech.

http://hechingerreport.org/impatient-universities-slow-pace-change-employers-go-around/

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IDC Predicts Jump in Internet of Things Spending in 2018

News & Thoughts - Sun, 2017-12-24 16:25

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Worldwide spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will increase 14.6 percent in 2018, reaching $772.5 billion, according to the latest report from International Data Corp. The market research company’s Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide forecasts sustained growth for the category, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4 percent all the way through 2021 — ultimately reaching $1.1 trillion. IoT hardware, such as modules, sensors, infrastructure and security, is expected to account for the largest portion of spending, hitting $239 billion in 2018. Services will come in second, followed by software and connectivity, the IDC report said. Software and services will be the fastest growing segments, at five-year CAGRs of 16.1 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/12/11/idc-predicts-jump-in-internet-of-things-spending-in-2018.aspx

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Making Connections with Multimedia Content

News & Thoughts - Sun, 2017-12-24 16:20

by Meg Lloyd, Campus Technology
Increasingly, instructors illustrate course content with visual images and rich media to engage students. But it can be cumbersome to try to show the relationships among disparate media elements, as well as challenging for faculty to work with available technologies to annotate and map them. Johns Hopkins University developed a web application to help learners explore and easily document relationships among visual materials. Users can annotate images with rich multimedia content and link to image, audio and video resources to put the materials in a visual context.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/12/13/making-connections-with-multimedia-content.aspx

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