Thursday, April 27, 2017

BREAKING: Purdue to acquire Kaplan U, Kaplan to stay as non-academic administrator - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

Purdue University has plans to purchase for-profit provider Kaplan University, according to a Securities Exchange Commission filing by Kaplan parent company Graham Holdings Company made Thursday morning. Kaplan will become New University, a public Indiana university affiliated with Purdue, according to reporting by The Chronicle of Higher Education. New University will maintain a separate accreditation and its own administration, and current students and faculty are expected to be retained by the new institution according to the original filing.

Steady Hand in an Unpredictable Time - Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

Recent personnel choices at the Department of Education have received scrutiny for connections to private industry and personal ideologies at odds with the mission of their office. But the appointment of James Manning, a career public official, has drawn a different sort of reaction. Manning was named acting under secretary of education last week, one of nine hires officially announced by the department. Former officials who have worked under Republican and Democratic administrations described Manning as an administrator with a broad skill set and a deep understanding of the workings of the student financial aid system. Even critics of recent steps taken by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on student loan servicing said it was important to have an expert on the complex federal loan program in place at the department.

Online courses make up more than half of CPS’s revenue - Liz Konneker, GW Hatchet

The College of Professional Studies is earning more than half of its revenue from online courses – making the college a leader in online learning at GW.Fifty-four percent of the college’s revenue comes from students enrolled in online programs or courses and 60 percent of its students took at least one online course this academic year, Ali Eskandarian, the dean of the college, said at the April Faculty Senate meeting. Faculty said the school has embraced online learning because many of their students are non-traditional, meaning they already have professional jobs or families that take up a significant amount of time. The school began offering online courses a decade ago, and since then online learning has become a dominant part of the school’s mission, Eskandarian said in an email.

11 Ways to Make Your Online Course Go Global as a Freelance Educator - Sarah Cordiner, THE Journal

The continued growth of online courses and the introduction of alternative accreditations will spawn a growth in freelance or independent professors. By 2025, all you need to start your own university is a great online teaching style, course materials and marketing plan.” The booming demand for self-study, on-demand and access-anytime training and education is evident through the popularity of platforms like Udemy and Coursera. The online learner is ready and waiting for your course. Many educators are shifting away from their traditional teacher, trainer and professor roles at brick-and-mortar institutions and realizing the benefits of freelancing, such as sharing their expertise beyond the walls of their classroom and earning extra compensation.

What MasterClass Online Courses Pay to Lure Hollywood Stars as Teachers - Nataley Jarvey, Hollywood Reporter

A hundred grand is entry-level pay for masters including Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin, Steve Martin and Kevin Spacey dabbling as online instructors: "I would love a class from Elon Musk," says MasterClass CEO David Rogier. When San Francisco-based MasterClass got underway in 2014, it had a hard time finding big names to teach its $90 online education courses. But the days of co-founder/CEO David Rogier cold-calling author James Patterson to convince him to sign on as an instructor are over. A-listers such as Hans Zimmer, Aaron Sorkin and now Shonda Rhimes are signing lucrative deals to teach, as MasterClass plans to expand into new subjects. MasterClass aims to bring the quality of Netflix to the $100 billion e-learning industry.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Seventeen jobs, five careers: learning in the age of automation - Max Opray, the Guardian

Welcome to the fourth industrial revolution: the economy of always learning. Staying still is more likely than ever to result in obsolescence, as indicated by a report released last month by consultancy firm PwC, which estimated 30% of British jobs could be automated by 2030. As professionals need to update their skills more frequently than ever, so too the education sector is evolving to cater to a new state of affairs in which young people are projected to have 17 jobs over five different careers, according to the Foundation for Young Australians 2015 report, The New Work Order.

USU-Online to offer accelerated course options - Mitch Henline, Cache Valley Daily

For students already competent in their field of study, Utah State University-Online is making it possible to get through courses faster – or just test out of them altogether. Starting this summer, USU-Online will be offering a limited number of its courses with accelerated options. At the professor’s discretion, three methods will be offered: A student can take a comprehensive assessment, complete a comprehensive project or complete the course material at a faster pace. USU’s distance education manager Kevin Shanley said competency-based education is a growing trend across the country.

6 improvement trends spreading like fire across all colleges and universities - MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

Academic program creation and evaluation is top-of-mind with institutions. This year colleges and universities are looking to diversify their program portfolios, either through offering online or blended learning offerings, through offering micro-credentials, or by placing their bets on emerging programs. What’s also noteworthy this year is that Hanover has gone a step further in identifying the overarching improvement trend of academic program creation and review by including a list of the top high-growth and emerging programs in higher ed at the moment. “Facing declining enrollments and reductions in funding across key academic offerings, higher education institutions are diversifying their program offerings, experimenting with new teaching methods, and emphasizing the value in higher education to key external stakeholders.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Democratization of Machine Learning: What It Means for Tech Innovation - Kartik Hosanagar and Apoorv Saxena, Wharton

Now we are on the cusp of a new grand leap thanks to the democratization of machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. As recently as 2015, only large companies like Google, Amazon and Apple had access to the massive data and computing resources needed to train and launch sophisticated AI algorithms. Small startups and individuals simply didn’t have access and were effectively blocked out of the market. That changes now. The democratization of ML gives individuals and startups a chance to get their ideas off the ground and prove their concepts before raising the funds needed to scale. There is an effort underway to standardize and improve access across all layers of the machine learning stack.

China’s Artificial-Intelligence Boom - SARAH ZHANG, the Atlantic

The country’s universities and tech giants are starting to surpass American ones when it comes to researching and implementing AI. China’s rapid rise up the ranks of AI research has people taking notice. In October, the Obama White House released a “strategic plan” for AI research, which noted that the U.S. no longer leads the world in journal articles on “deep learning,” a particularly hot subset of AI research right now. The country that had overtaken the U.S.? China, of course. It’s not just academic research. Chinese tech companies are betting on AI, too. Baidu (a Chinese search-engine company often likened to Google), Didi (often likened to Uber), and Tencent (maker of the mega-popular messaging app WeChat) have all set up their own AI research labs. With millions of customers, these companies have access to the huge amount of data that training AI to detect patterns requires.

UTEP president: Funding for higher education is in a downward spiral TX and NM universities facing budget cuts - Stephanie Guadian, KVIA

A downward spiral. That is how UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio described the decline in state financial support for higher education institutions. It was a sentiment shared by NMSU's President Dr. Garrey Carruthers at a town hall organized by the El Paso Times that was held on the UTEP campus. The two panelists were joined by El Paso Community College President Dr. William Serrata and Dr. Richard Lange, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - El Paso. Organizers said the status and future of higher education is an important conversation to have in the middle of a legislative session. Lawmakers are trying to slash billions of dollars before June amid the prolonged oil price slump that has stung state coffers. Higher education and Medicaid are among the targeted cuts.

Monday, April 24, 2017

How New York’s Free College Plan Could Disrupt Higher Ed Market - Kirk Carapezza, WGBH

Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill making the Empire State the first state to cover tuition at all public colleges and universities for low- and income families. Under the new law, students whose families earn up to $125,000 won't have to pay tuition at the state's community colleges or four-year universities. “I think they should be worried because it's the same admission market," said Brian Mitchell, the former president of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. Mitchell expects Cuomo's plan will reduce out-of-state admissions at private schools in the northeast. “If you are subsidizing public sector tuition in the sense of making it free, you put the privates at a profound disadvantage,” Mitchell said. “It's not just the privates in New York State, but it's the privates in Pennsylvania and in Massachusetts. The first second and third largest collection of private colleges are in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts respectively, and they should all pay close attention to this."

U of Phoenix-HBCU Partnership Expands - Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Another historically black institution -- South Carolina State -- teams up with the University of Phoenix to offer online courses to a greater number of students. S.C. State will waive a $35 readmission fee and offer students a 50 percent discount on tuition rates, dropping the cost of a three-credit-hour course to $651. Students can take up to 27 credits from Phoenix. After the university reviews the students’ accounts for academic or financial holds, the academic departments map the courses they need to finish the degree they were pursuing before stopping out to equivalent courses offered by Phoenix. The BARC program is the latest product of an “alliance” that Phoenix and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund entered into in November 2014 to boost online education at historically black colleges and universities.

Why Gen Z needs librarians now more than ever - GINNY BOUGHTER, eSchool News

Whether guiding research or introducing new technology, today’s librarian gives Gen Z the skills and tools they need to move from ‘getting it right now’ to ‘getting it right.’Librarians and media specialists are in a unique position within schools, since they are very often the person responsible for introducing students to new technologies, and are also on the front lines when it comes to connecting students to meaningful sources for research. Today’s students have never known a world without the smartphone or tablet, and many of them have been using these devices independently since infancy. The answers to their questions have never been more than a click of a button away. In this brave new world of technological innovation and free-flowing information, librarians are now tasked with teaching these digital natives how to navigate these waters with discernment, while still taking full advantage of the opportunities these tools afford them.

Study: Adjuncts bring real-world experience, yet desire closer connection to the academic community - eCampus News

Cengage survey presents adjunct faculty feedback on collaboration, digital technology and professional development. A new study from Cengage finds that although adjunct faculty are very student-focused and believe they offer unique value, including real-world expertise and industry contacts, they feel disconnected and less valued than full-time faculty. And, while more than half of adjuncts are using digital learning tools, they want more opportunities for collaboration and professional development using these materials, the survey finds. Cengage and Zeldis Research Associates conducted both qualitative and quantitative research over a six-month period and connected with nearly 500 adjunct instructors.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

6 ways to engage alumni using Facebook Live - MICHAEL ELLISON, eCampus News

Launched in April 2016, Facebook Live allows the most-used social network’s users to share up to eight hours of live video with their followers and friends. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the vast majority of these recordings come from people instead of public figures and publishers, and the number of people broadcasting live at any given minute has grown by four times since its launch. Further, users comment over 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos, demonstrating that broadcasts engage users with their real-time reactions and comments. Many colleges and universities have already begun integrating Facebook Live into their social media marketing schemes. Out of the 45-school Alumni Monitor coverage group, 36 schools have hosted at least one Facebook Live event within their main university or alumni-focused social media page. For those schools looking to begin (or expand on) their current Facebook Live presence, here are six ideas for engaging alumni using Facebook Live.

Indiana U Students Save $3.5 Million Through Digital Textbook Program - Campus Technology

Indiana University (IU) is out with a numbers update for its eText initiative that delivers digital course materials to students: In the 2016-17 academic year, IU students saved an estimated $3.5 million more than what they would have otherwise spent on traditional programs, according to a campus official. The program uses an inclusive-access model that delivers digital course materials directly to students in time for their first day of class. More than 40,000 IU students purchased at least one digital textbook through the initiative in the same academic year. The university launched eText as a pilot in 2009. IU partnered with more than 20 higher ed publishers to drive costs down, while expanding catalogs and providing more options for teachers and students.

New Frontiers in Cyber Security: Locomotives without Wheels, Moats, Deep Learning at the Edge - Doug Black, Enterprise Tech

Industry analyst Bob Sorensen recently told us something most IT managers already know deep in their apprehensive hearts: cyber security is in a sorry state. Security at many companies is somewhat marginalized, an unfavored area that lies outside core IT operations and procedures, a focal point at many companies of ineffectuality and denial that can be characterized as: Don’t just do something, sit there! Yet everyone grasps the bottom line and reputation risks of poor security. This anxiousness, coupled with uncertainty about their own cyber security strategies, results in many companies – at least those that haven’t been attacked yet – taking refuge in the feeble rationalization: “We haven’t been breached yet so we must be doing something right.” Yeah, sure.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

How to make sure your university’s online content is accessible to all - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

A new whitepaper from 3PlayMedia delves into some of the accessibility issues and offers guidance. Students and faculty who are deaf or have hearing challenges, who are blind or have low vision, who are color blind, or who have physical disabilities or temporary disabilities (such as those due to injury) all require accessibility features to help them consume digital information. Thirty-three percent of students enrolled in four-year institutions complete a bachelor’s degree, compared with 48 percent of students without disabilities. A 2011 World Health Organization report notes that 1 in 5 Americans age 12 or older have hearing loss significant enough to interfere with day-to-day communications.

Researchers find millions of .edu accounts, passwords available on Dark Web - Roger Riddell, Education Dive

A recent report from the Digital Citizens Alliance shows 14 million .edu email addresses and email passwords from the 300 largest higher ed institutions in the U.S. were available for sale on the "Dark Web." Campus Technology reports that 11 million of those uncovered in the most recent search of the Dark Web were found in the last year, and that many of the user names and passwords were likely compromised when users accessed them in non-academic settings. Hacktivist organization Team GhostShell's leader, a 25-year-old Romanian hacker nicknamed "Dead-Mellox," provided researchers behind the report with insights on the vulnerability of .edu addresses, as well as the surplus of valuable data, intellectual property and research that higher ed institutions have compared to commercial businesses or government agencies.

Social Learning: The Future Is Here! - ATD

In essence, technology and social media have led to a democratization of learning and education that is unprecedented. Learning is everyone’s domain. Continuous learning and growth are not only possible, but expected. Curiosity is the only currency you need. So what’s the L&D professional’s role in this evolution? Workplace learning must adapt to this new world and provide the tools and vehicles to leverage the collective wisdom in the organization. We must support collaborative learning and work. We must build learning and professional networks that cross organizational boundaries, and even go beyond organizations. We must discover and share best practices and ideas and solutions. We can curate content, build platforms, encourage peer learning, and share information.