Monday, March 27, 2017

Technical training prepares graduates for the automation era - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A recent study from the Society for College and University Planning suggests that the global workforce will lose more than 7 million jobs over the next five years, thanks to expansion in automation. A profile of Henry Ford College in The Atlantic showcases the ways the institution is reimagining its technical training program to address this issue through its “learning to learn” strategy, which officials believe offers students more comprehensive training modules for industry-specific job roles. Industrial changes can lead to increased costs for faculty, training technology and curriculum design, but articulation agreements with high schools and corporate partnerships can help to fill in gaps associated with industrial change and create new revenue models.

Texas A&M Brings Gaming to Art History - Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

Texas A&M University has teamed up with game-based learning company Triseum to introduce gaming into art history survey courses, in an effort to help students better understand the world in which works of art were created. Through a three-year agreement announced Friday, the university will integrate the company’s ARTé: Mecenas, an immersive art history video game that transports students to the Italian Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries. They can experience the political, social and economic factors of that time period through taking on the role of a merchant or banker within the Medici family. For example, students are tasked with balancing relationships between stakeholders in that time period (merchant factions, the Catholic Church, etc.) to build and maintain a financial empire.

Smartphones Outpacing Humans in Literacy - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

"Illiterate people are more likely to be poor, lack education, miss out on opportunities to participate fully in society and the workforce," Project Literacy stated on its website. "Sadly, their choices in life are far too limited." Currently, 758 million adults around the world and 32 million Americans are illiterate, according to a new report issued by the project, "2027: Human vs. Machine Literacy." These are individuals who are unable to read "a road sign, a voting form or a medicine label." At the same time, technological advances in artificial intelligence and voice recognition will soon enable more than two billion smartphones to read and write. Natural language processing capabilities will "begin to outpace the reading skills of millions of people," asserted the authors.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

4 trends poised to transform the future of higher education - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

Association of Governing Boards associate managing principal for institutional strategies Jim Hundrieser speaking during the 99th annual American Council on Education meeting in Washington, DC said,“Students are no longer buying that whole college” experience, said Hundrieser, using the example of having to buy an entire album for one or two good songs, prior to the profusion of digitized media. As such, certificates, credentials, and job-related curricula are becoming increasingly more important considerations for leaders of traditional institutions. Not only that, he said, but despite what recent data show, MOOCs were not just a flash in the pan. Instead, we’ve seen “inning one of a nine inning game,” Hundrieser said, adding that MOOCs are still “absolutely” poised to disrupt the traditional higher education marketplace, as courses, particularly around college prep, increase.

The Past, Present and Future of Big Data in Higher Ed - Steve Burrell, Evolllution

Beyond these student success examples, there lies another world of opportunities to leverage Big Data to improve the operational efficiencies and effectiveness of our institutions. Rapid technological advancement in computational power, prescriptive analytics, image processing, sensors and beacons, data storage, systems integration tools, and advanced search capabilities among other key advances provide insights into systems performance, process bottlenecks, hidden dependencies, and other user-, event-, and device-based data in near real time.

Shmoop Releases Side-by-Side Translations of Shakespeare Online - Richard Chang, THE Journal

One website aims to make sense of the Bard’s poetic yet perplexing lines in modern English for contemporary young readers. Shmoop’s site, Shakespeare in Modern English, is designed to give students the best of both worlds: Reading the original text online right alongside a modern English translation and summary. Shmoop is known for its all-inclusive guide to Shakespeare, called Shmooping Shakespeare, which includes everything students could ever want to know about the Bard of Avon: in-depth summary and analysis of every single one of his plays and many of his poems; an extensive biography; an entire section devoted to his most famous quotes and another devoted to the words he coined; and Shmoop’s well-known Shakespeare Translator, which lets users turn their everyday language into eloquent Shakespearese.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Credentialing remains a slow-growing process for higher ed - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Credentialing and competency-based education models remain a relatively-small part of the matriculation process at most colleges and universities, but a new study suggests new ways institutions can more efficiently gauge prior learning and capacity in high-level subject matters. MOOCs and coding bootcamps can offer specific levels of learning and training, and when reviewed against common institutional standards or outsourced to third-party assessment companies, they can be a vital part of an academic transcript for an employer or graduate school. Pitfalls for assessment can include uneven record-keeping by various departments, or inconsistent values placed on differing alternative credit-bearing modules.

Common Challenges for Instructors in Large Online Courses: Strategies to Mitigate Student and Instructor Frustration - Beth A. Trammell and Chera LaForge, Journal of Educators Online

Teaching in the online classroom is becoming commonplace for instructors as universities seek to grow enrollments and tap into unexplored markets. Many instructors, however, are often unprepared for the nuances of distance education and apprehensive about making the transition to online learning. This article aims to discuss common challenges for instructors of high-enrollment online courses (70+ students). Course design and instructional effectiveness are some of the most significant challenges facing instructors tasked with managing large online courses and those challenges align with the areas students commonly consider as necessary for successful online delivery. Using examples from large online classes and the existing research on best practices in online education, ways to minimize those challenges will be discussed.

This heroic non-profit is providing free university education to refugees - Jack Boulton Roe, Techly

How best to offer education to displaced people? An important question and one that Kiron, a German non-profit, has attempted to answer with their two-year, refugee-targeted, online education programme. The proliferation of the internet has given rise to online learning platforms all over the world – take a look at MOOC-list for an idea of just what, and how much of it, is out there. What sets Kiron apart is their focus on refugees. A loss of education may not be the first thing that occurs in the case of a misplaced person, but when considering that 25 per cent of Syrians between 18-24 years old were in education before the war started, it becomes clear that this is vital work.

Facilitating Collaboration in Online Groups - Geralyn E Stephens and Kathryn L. Roberts, JEO

Demonstrating the ability to collaborate effectively is essential for students moving into 21st century workplaces. Employers are expecting new hires to already possess group-work skills and will seek evidence of their ability to cooperate, collaborate, and complete projects with colleagues, including remotely or at a distance. Instructional activities and assignments that provide students with a variety of ways to engage each other have a direct and immediate effect on their academic performance. This paper shares the Facilitating Collaboration in Online Groups (FCOG) instructional planning strategy. The strategy is designed for faculty use and familiarizes students with the process and technology necessary to collaborate effectively in online classroom groups. The strategy utilizes proven teaching techniques to maximize student-student and student-content relationships.

Friday, March 24, 2017

What the college digital experience will look like 5 years from now -JAMI MORSHED, eCampus News

The desire for a more digital campus has also come hand-in-hand with the rise of the non-traditional student, a population of which is generally characterized by part-time attendance, student swirl, working either full or part time, and taking classes either partly or entirely online. [Read: “Is it time to rethink the term nontraditional student?”] Online learning platforms change the lecture and classroom experience to allow students to connect with the university through a familiar medium–their mobile device. Predictive analytics, machine learning, chatbots and augmented reality have the ability to bring us into a completely new era of digital learning. In order for higher ed institutions to truly embrace these possibilities, advancements must encompass both student learning and student administrative functionalities.

Digital disruption lowers the cost of expensive masters degrees - Tim Dodd, Financial Review

A round of price-cutting has broken out in the market for high-priced masters degrees with four Australian universities offering students a pathway to complete part of the degree online at a steep discount. In a sign of digital disruption hitting higher education, the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide and Curtin University are offering students the chance to do a quarter of a full masters degrees at low cost through US-based massive open online course (MOOC) provider edX which gives them a new credential called a MicroMasters. Students can then complete the degree at the regular cost, giving them at least a 20 per cent discount overall.

Coding, Robotics and the Jobs of the Future - MATTHEW LYNCH, tech Edvocate

IT jobs will grow by 22% through 2020 and jobs in STEM are said to see similar growth. Educators are expected to equip their students with skills that will translate into careers and yet they have no idea what these skills should be. So, what are the jobs of the future and how can be best prepare students for them? Programming jobs are growing 50 percent faster than the market overall. With such a rapidly growing market, it is important to note that not all coding jobs fall within the technology sector. Health care, manufacturing, and finance are in need of coders as is the tech industry. Coding is the backbone of many technologies, and in the future, it will be an important tool for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

No timeline on Higher Ed Act, BUT Adult / Continuing Ed to Top Priorities - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

House Education Committee Ranking Member Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) said there's no timeline for the Higher Education Act reauthorization during her panel at The Atlantic's "Higher Education at a Crossroads" event Wednesday morning. "I wish I knew," said the congresswoman when asked when higher ed leaders can expect to see the legislation brought to get table again. She added that while she doesn't believe the majority sees HEA as a high priority, "certainly the meeting we had yesterday about affordability was an important one" toward the eventual goal of addressing the bill. When Congress does take up HEA, said Davis, adult and continuing education will be a priority. "Redefining what higher education is today, I hope, is a big part of what we do with this legislation," she said.

Understanding the Faculty Role in Digital Accessibility - Doug Lederman, Inside Digital Learning

The decision last week by the University of California, Berkeley, to take years' worth of video and audio lectures out of the public realm because of federal requirements on accessibility for people with disabilities was decried by many accessibility advocates. In the context of Berkeley's decision, Inside Digital Learning asked a group of digital accessibility experts how they balance the essential goal of making digital courseware accessible while respecting faculty independence and avoiding deterring professors who may already be daunted by the prospect of creating digital academic materials. Among the questions we asked them to address are: *Are there practices that you have found work (and don't) in assuring the creation of accessible digital materials? *Are there decisions to be made about what you have faculty members themselves do, versus the institution's technology specialists? *What issues should administrators and faculty members alike be thinking about as they navigate this terrain?

3 Ideas for Closing the Tech Skills Gap - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

According to a recent survey from the Career Advisory Board, only 11 percent of employers believe higher education is very effective in meeting the skill needs of their organization. More than half (57 percent) said it is common for job applicants to lack technology skills deemed important for success. And 77 percent of respondents said their company's competitive advantage relies on a workforce that can use applied tech skills to solve problems. These issues and more were discussed in a session this week at SXSWedu in Austin The panel offered three solutions to help close the tech skills gap: Create dedicated industry advisory boards for educators; Move toward a vision of "any time, anywhere" education for students; and Provide students and employees access to the latest technologies.

Universities scramble as political climate threatens international enrollment - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Approximately 40% of domestic colleges and universities participating in a recent higher education survey are reporting a decrease in applications from international students, a trend that some observers attribute to the changing political climate in the United States, travel restrictions, and growing perceived animus against international student presence on some campuses, Inside Higher Ed reports. 35% of the 250 participating schools reported increases in applications from foreign countries, while 26% reported no change. Applications from Middle Eastern nations were the most reduced according to a recent study of international students by Royall & Company, but interest from students in Canada, Asia and Europe is also declining. Respondents indicated the federal travel ban, the attitudes from the White House about foreign students, and a perception of unwelcoming campus climates as the top reasons for their decreased interest.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

7 Things You Should Know About the 2017 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning - EDUCAUSE ELI

Each year since 2011, ELI has surveyed those involved with teaching and learning in higher education to take the pulse of the group about what’s most exciting, pressing, consequential, and relevant. Looking at the ELI Key Issues over time shows which areas hold our attention and time year after year, and it shines a spotlight on issues that rise sharply on the list or fall down the ranking. This issue of the 7 Things You Should Know series consists of short commentaries on the top 7 issues from the survey. These short meditations provide focus, serving as brief, guided tours of that issue’s particular landscape: Accessibility Blended Learning Change Management Competency-based Education (CBE) Digital Literacy Faculty Development Information Literacy Online Learning Teaching and Learning.

Report: Higher ed still woefully unprepared against cyber attacks - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Report indicates that of all sectors, education is the most at-risk when it comes to the ability to defend against cyber attacks of all kind. Twenty-six percent of education respondents in a new survey reported daily or weekly cyber attacks in 2016, and 98 percent of all responding organizations experienced cyber attacks in 2016. The 2016-2017 Global Application & Network Security Survey from cyber security company Radware reveals that while cyber ransom proves the easiest and most lucrative tool for cyber criminals, almost all ransom events have a different attack vector, technique or angle. Ransom attacks are the most prevalent, increasing from 25 percent of attacks in 2015 to 41 percent of attacks in 2016. The report attributes the increase to the lucrative nature of such a “business.”

5 tips for getting blended learning right - MERIS STANSBURY, eSchool News

Tool integration, teacher teams are just some of the ways schools can ensure successful blended learning initiatives. When implementing a blended learning model, it is important for schools to be aware of key components and steps to integrate into their plan. In “Five Tips for Getting Blended Learning Right,” hosted by and sponsored by Achieve3000, Julia Freeland Fisher, director of Education at the Clayton Christensen Institute, gave schools the tips they need to successfully implement blended learning.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Considering OER? Here’s what you need to know - LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News

OER are teaching and learning resources that are free to use and share. They also are adaptable and can be customized for a specific class or student. Repositories such as The Orange Grove, the Utah Education Network, and OER Commons help educators locate and learn how to incorporate the resources into their instruction. The Software & Information Industry Association’s guide to OER can give educators background information to help them on their way to OER integration.