Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What does voice search mean for your local SEO strategy? - Chris Camps, ClickZ

Voice search is a growing trend that has been pinging the radars of savvy search marketers for the last few years. In 2016, conversational AI company MindMeld surveyed smartphone users in the US, finding that 60% of users who used voice search had started using it in the last past year – indicating rising adoption rates. This is backed up by Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, which found that Google voice search queries in 2016 are up 35x over 2008, now making up 20% of searches made with the Google Android app. Whereas regular searches usually just include keywords. In fact, Google is currently working to better accommodate these so-called ‘natural language’ queries. At the Google I/O developer conference last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed Google Assistant’s ability to handle follow-up questions without the need to re-state the context. https://www.clickz.com/what-does-voice-search-mean-for-your-local-seo-strategy/110541/

Google Adds Safety Feature to Android Gmail App After E-Mail Phishing Attack - Sri Ravipati, THE Journal

A word of warning: If there is an e-mail in your inbox asking you to open a Google Doc from someone, don’t open it. A day after the recent attack, Google rolled out a new safeguard to its Android Gmail app. The phishing scam attempted to hack a user’s Google account after the user clicks a link that appears to be from a trusted individual. Google was able to stop the attack after about 1 million (just 0.1 percent) of all Gmail users had seen one of the e-mails. Now with the Gmail app updates, when a phony link appears in an e-mail, Google will warn the user, with an alert: “The site you are trying to visit has been identified as a forgery intended to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information.” https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/05/04/google-adds-safety-feature-to-android-gmail-app-after-email-phishing-attack.aspx

Indians Benefit More From Online Courses Than Global Peers - Anisha Singh, NDTV

In a survey conducted by Coursera, it was revealed that Indian online learners benefit more career and education wise than their counterparts in US and UK. Among the working professionals and job seekers, almost 89% online learners from India said that they benefitted in their career compared to 84% people globally. The number of online learners who said they advanced in their career was 84% in the US and 86% in the UK. In India, 46% of career builders said that they became better t their job and 39% of those surveyed said that taking online courses improved their chances of getting a job. Coursera Chief Business Officer Nikhil Sinha told PTI, "Since Coursera launched five years ago, online learning has transformed from an experiment in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) to a widely accepted choice among Indians looking to acquire new skills." Till now more than 2 million Indians are registered on Coursera. As per the survey, 98% of Indian learners said to have benefitted which is more than the global average of 93%. http://www.ndtv.com/education/indians-benefit-more-from-online-courses-than-global-peers-1687164

Monday, May 22, 2017

Signs of a Ceiling in Community College Online Ed Market? - Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

A new survey of online education administrators at 104 colleges and universities released today shows -- as other studies have suggested -- that public and private four-year institutions saw healthy enrollment growth in their fully online programs in spring 2016 compared to the year before, and that they are showing few signs of slowing their investments in the space. The situation is not the same at two-year colleges. Online programs at all institutions grew on average by 9 percent year over year, but at community colleges, growth typically registered 1 to 2 percent. And while only a handful of the public or private four-year institutions surveyed said their online enrollments shrank from 2015 to 2016, findings at community colleges were mixed: 33 percent saw growth, 27 percent decline and 40 percent stability. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/05/22/reports-finds-rising-competition-online-education-market

Study: Online Course Enrollment Rising Rapidly at Private Nonprofits - Jordan Friedman, US News

Even as fewer students overall pursue a higher education, online courses are rising in popularity – including at private nonprofits, which historically were slower to embrace them. More than 6 million students – a large majority of whom were undergraduates – enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2015, according to the first in a series of publications from a research partnership between the Babson Survey Research Group, the blog e-Literate and the education nonprofit WCET. This year's report relied on federal data from more than 4,800 institutions. https://www.usnews.com/higher-education/online-education/articles/2017-05-03/study-online-learning-enrollment-rising-fastest-at-private-nonprofit-schools

How to Prepare for an Automated Future - Claire Cain Miller, the Upshot

How do we educate people for an automated world? People still need to learn skills, the respondents said, but they will do that continuously over their careers. In school, the most important thing they can learn is how to learn. At universities, “people learn how to approach new things, ask questions and find answers, deal with new situations,” wrote Uta Russmann, a professor of communications at the FHWien University of Applied Sciences in Vienna. “All this is needed to adjust to ongoing changes in work life. Special skills for a particular job will be learned on the job.” Schools will also need to teach traits that machines can’t yet easily replicate, like creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, adaptability and collaboration. The problem, many respondents said, is that these are not necessarily easy to teach. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/upshot/how-to-prepare-for-an-automated-future.html

Option of shorter online courses gaining popularity at Fort Hays State - Hays Daily News

Eight-week courses are gaining popularity at Fort Hays State and are available in a broad range of programs through the university’s Department of Advanced Education Programs, which offer core courses across several programs. Instead of enrolling in a traditional 16-week course in time for the fall and spring semester start dates, online students can now choose from several other dates to enroll in the same course that is completed in half the time. “These offerings are being developed to meet the needs of the adult students who are looking for both an expedited timeline to complete their degree and/or have decided to go to school after one of the three traditional start dates,” said Dennis King, assistant vice president for student affairs. “The idea is to offer something for the adult student who presses to move through their program at a little faster pace.” http://www.hdnews.net/press_releases/option-of-shorter-online-courses-gaining-popularity-at-fort-hays/article_10df9398-492a-5831-94f2-0916bfc25a00.html

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Major shift in online learning sees pedagogy in driver’s seat - SCOTT MOORE, eCampus News

Unbundled online program model focuses on pedagogy as the driver for technology decisions rather than the other way around. There is a significant shift occurring in online learning—one that puts students and pedagogy into the driver’s seat, and colleges and universities seeking new ways to increase enrollment and revenue. One barrier for colleges to capture this revenue has been the business model of the companies whose business it is to help them create and deploy online programs—they take approximately 50 percent of the program’s revenue as payment for their services (they typically handle marketing, recruiting, enrollment management, curriculum development, course design, support and technology hosting). These online program management providers (OPMs) have the benefit of reducing up-front investment, but the cost is prohibitive for many, effectively slowing down the movement to online learning. http://www.ecampusnews.com/featured/featured-on-ecampus-news/online-learning-pedagogy/

Industry Tool Detects Thousands of C2 Server RATs - Sri Ravipati, THE Journal

A tool developed by two security companies that scans the internet for command and control (C2) servers has already uncovered thousands of malicious RATs, or remote access trojans, on computers and other internet-connected devices. Shodan, a search engine used by many security researchers, lists information for open ports belonging to internet-connected devices. The company teamed up with threat intelligence firm Recorded Future to integrate a new online crawler into its search engine called Malware Hunter. Malware Hunter scans the internet regularly over time to identify C2 servers for various malware like RATs. https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/05/02/industry-tool-detects-thousands-of-c2-server-rats.aspx

Online classes, modern textbooks helping revitalize Cherokee language - Cherokee.org

Recent research focusing on Native American languages and how they are taught is helping revitalize the Cherokee language, in part, through online courses and modern textbooks developed by the Cherokee Nation. Using these updated methods, the Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Program continues to have a far-reaching impact, with up to 3,000 students taking online courses and around 400 taking community classes each year. Participating students are from all ages and all corners of the world. “There are so many people interested in preserving the language,” said Ed Fields, an online instructor with the Cherokee Language Program who has taught courses for more than a decade. Fields teaches a 10-week, online Cherokee language course in the spring and fall each year, with participants gathering online one hour per day, two days a week. His spring course started April 10 and fall class will start Sept. 11, with registration opening Aug. 28. Through a live camera, students see Fields as he uses his own curriculum and life experiences to teach Cherokee. http://www.cherokee.org/News/Stories/20170504_Online-classes-modern-textbooks-helping-revitalize-Cherokee-languageOnline classes, modern textbooks helping revitalize Cherokee language

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Students to colleges: Please use our data this way - MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

Younger students in colleges and universities say they’d like their personalized data to be leveraged toward a more beneficial, meaningful experience—right away. When institutions use student data, it’s usually internally and to overhaul or make adjustments to campus services year-to-year. Yet, thanks to a younger student body’s familiarity with customized communications based on personalized data, innovative institutions are trying to increase enrollment, boost retention and help place students on a career track with on-the-go data. http://www.ecampusnews.com/big-data/students-colleges-use-data/

4 out of 5 Companies Have Hired a Coding Bootcamp Graduate - Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

With tech skills in high-demand, coding bootcamps are doing pretty well, with Course Report estimating 18,000 graduates by the end of this year. These accelerated programs use a disruptive education model to quickly equip students with computer science (CS) skills and land jobs in the tech industry. As it turns out, four out of five companies will hire coding bootcamp graduates, according to Indeed. Overall, perceptions of coding bootcamp graduates are mostly positive. About 51 percent of survey respondents think that coding bootcamps are a good way to bring diversity into the tech industry, while 50 percent say coding bootcamps efficiently retrain employees. Perhaps for these reasons, 42 percent of hiring managers and recruiters admitted they don’t have a preference as to whether a job candidate graduated from a traditional academic institution or a bootcamp. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/03/4-out-of-5-companies-have-hired-a-coding-bootcamp-graduate.aspx

Indiana U Expands Active Learning Initiative - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Indiana University's Mosaic Active Learning Initiative, a program launched in fall 2015 that supports faculty teaching, research and classroom design for active learning environments, has expanded to five of the institution's regional campus: IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast. The move brings 14 new Mosaic Faculty Fellows into the program. Fellows are "faculty who, over the course of an academic year, teach in Mosaic classrooms, share approaches to active and collaborative learning, engage in research related to active learning classrooms, and contribute to the development of learning spaces across IU," according to a university announcement. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/03/indiana-u-expands-active-learning-initiative.aspx

Friday, May 19, 2017

On-Campus Enrollment Shrinks While Online Continues its Ascent - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

More than 6 million students took at least one online course in 2015, representing more than a quarter (29.7 percent) of all higher education enrollments that year, according to a new report from Digital Learning Compass. Among that 29.7 percent, it's almost evenly split between students who took some but not all courses online (15.4 percent) and those who took every class online (14.3 percent). In contrast, total online enrollments in 2002 came in just under 10 percent. Put another way, the number of students who have taken a "distance education" course rose by 3.9 percent in 2015, adding an additional 226,375 online students to the virtual attendance rolls. Between 2012 and 2015, the number of on-campus students has declined by 5 percent, losing a total of 931,317. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/02/on-campus-enrollment-shrinks-while-online-continues-its-ascent.aspx

Higher ed leaders: It's time to strengthen your social media strategy - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

A new EAB study found underrepresented minorities rely more heavily on social media to help guide their college search and selection process than do other students. The survey found 27% of first-generation students, 25% of Hispanic students, 24% of African-American students, and 24% of students from households with $60K or lower income levels report they first discovered a college on social media, compared with significantly lower percentages of legacy, Caucasian and higher-income students. According to a survey of 5,580 college-bound students released Tuesday, underrepresented students are less likely to see their family and friends as resources, and they are less likely to have opportunities to visit prospective schools in person. http://www.educationdive.com/news/higher-ed-leaders-its-time-to-strengthen-your-social-media-strategy/441858/

How the University of Oregon is Teaching Media Students to Use Big Data - Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (UO SOJC) last year founded its Insights and Analytics Lab, providing undergraduate students access to real-world big data to help them gain in-demand analytics skills for their future careers in media. Many businesses expect to add more jobs that require data analysis skills in the next five years, according a national survey from the American Statistical Association. UO SOJC partnered with analytics companies Alteryx, comScore and Shareablee to open up more workforce opportunities for students, says Heather Shoenberger, an assistant professor who founded, directs and teaches “Brand Insights with Data” at the Insights and Analytics Lab. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/03/how-the-university-of-oregon-is-teaching-media-students-to-use-big-data.aspx

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Are micro-credentials the key to personalizing professional development? - Roger Riddell, Education Dive

Micro-credentials, which offer learners the ability to master a single topic based on their needs or interests, offer administrators a way to personalize teachers' professional development, Education Week reports. Delaware, Florida and Tennessee are among states, along with individual districts elsewhere, that have experimented with the model through providers such as the nonprofit Digital Promise, some of which allow educators to provide evidence including student work or videos and award digital badges for LinkedIn. Amid the growth in popularity, there is also increasing attention to the need for standards around rigor, value for stakeholders, oversight and teacher incentives for earning them. http://www.educationdive.com/news/micro-credentials-key-personalized-learning-professional-development/441782/

‘Glacial Progress’ on Digital Accessibility - Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

New data from Blackboard show that the most common types of course content that students use on a daily basis -- images, PDFs, presentations and other documents -- continue to be riddled with accessibility issues. And while colleges have made some slight improvements over the last five years, the issues are widespread. The findings come from Ally, an accessibility tool that Blackboard launched today (the company in October acquired Fronteer, the ed-tech company behind the tool). Ally scans the course materials in a college’s learning management system, comparing the materials to a checklist based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative. If any issues arise, the tool flags them and suggests accessible alternatives. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/05/18/data-show-small-improvements-accessibility-course-materials

New Course In Connecticut Targets Dearth Of Job-Ready Software Developers - HARRIET JONES, WNPR

A Milford-based entrepreneur is launching a training course designed to help with a shortage of web and mobile software developers -- an issue that’s only expected to get worse in coming years. It's estimated that nationwide, employers will need 1.4 million software developers over the next 10 years. The nation’s universities are only projected to produce 400,000 computer science graduates in that time. "So we're going to have a deficit of about a million people who have the digital skills to work in web, mobile, marketing, and advertising -- even TV, as TV becomes increasingly application oriented," said Mark Lassoff. Those developers are going to have to come from somewhere. http://wnpr.org/post/new-course-connecticut-targets-dearth-job-ready-software-developers

Solving the World's Problems One Online Class at a Time - SOPHIA STUART, PC Magazine

Online tools can engender a greater understanding of other cultures; who doesn't love the ability to peek into the quotidian existence of people around the globe via Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook? But what about more serious issues such as peace in the Middle East; does the internet have a place to play there? The organizers of YaLa Academy, founded in 2011 by the Peres Center for Peace and YaLa Palestine, believe it does. The online education platform provides distance learning and encourages collaboration between those from nations that have traditionally been in conflict. Students take online courses to develop skills as future peace leaders, including negotiation and conflict management, taught by various experts from organizations like the US Institute of Peace and Harvard Program on Negotiation. http://www.pcmag.com/news/353408/solving-the-worlds-problems-one-online-class-at-a-time

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

OER Could Boost Colleges' Revenues - Jean Dimeo, Inside Higher Ed

Although tuition certainly matters to students, what matters more is “total cost of attendance.” That includes fees, books, transportation, and the opportunity cost of taking classes, among other things. (Reduced work hours to make time for classes leads to reduced income in the short term, which is a cost. Over time, if they graduate, they more than make it back, but in the here and now, it’s a cost.) Opportunity cost is lowest in recessions and highest during expansions, which is why our enrollments are counter-cyclical. So here’s the plan. If we get critical mass of sections using OER, and we can quantify the typical savings to students in some sort of credible way, I’d like to go to the Board with the following argument: If we raise tuition $5 a credit, a student taking 30 credits pays an extra $150 a year. But if we’re using OER in enough places that the student is saving $500 a year on books, she’s still coming out ahead. https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/insights/2017/05/17/oer-could-boost-revenues