Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ask 4 Questions About Accessing Online Courses on Mobile - Jordan Friedman, US News

Want to take online courses on your smartphone or tablet? In many programs, you can. For online learners constantly on the go, being able to access courses on mobile devices is important. Many online degree programs offer students mobile apps with most of the same capabilities as the virtual classrooms on their desktops and laptops, experts say. And it's a topic many of today's applicants ask about, says Katie Barak, manager of student resources and disability services at the online Colorado State University—Global Campus.

Check out Steppingstone Scholars’ new online course for low-income students applying to college -

The nonprofit, which provides academic enrichment programs for minority and low-income students, collaborated with Penn to launch the course on Coursera. Steppingstone Scholars, the nonprofit established in 1999 to provide academic enrichment programs for minority and low-income students, believes first-generation and low-income students have particular difficulties navigating both the college search and admission processes. That’s why Steppingstone, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Admissions, recently launched an online course called “How to Apply to College.”

How universities are leveraging online video technology for no-boundaries learning - GARY WEIS, eCampus News

In the wake of the travel ban, here’s how video can help support global learning for students interested in curricula from U.S. institutions. One of the reasons online learning is so successful is because it is powerful enough to bridge time and distance, allowing colleges and universities to share education across borders to students all over the world. That valuable ability to time shift becomes even more important in the face of unexpected events. The recent travel ban, for example, has some schools advising students not to travel outside the U.S. as they may not be able to return to finish their education. In situations like this, colleges and universities are turning to unique video technology solutions to ensure learning isn’t disrupted.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Is higher ed ready for the big edtech explosion? - MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

New infographic details the causes of, and advice for, the incredible growth of college and university edtech spending over the next three years. According to recent research, edtech spending is on the rise, with an estimated $252 billion to be spent by colleges and universities on campus edtech by 2020. IT leaders and campus admin are projected to invest in everything from online learning solutions to personal devices, as well as investments in up-and-coming technologies as listed in the recent Horizon Report. The research was conducted by conducted by Marketwatch, the U.S. Department of Education, EDUCAUSE, Computer Economics, TDX Market Study, and HDI, and condensed into an informative infographic by TeamDynamix.

10 reasons why blended learning is exploding - MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

Infographic delves into recent education trend data to explain why blended learning is taking off. Blended learning, like many other buzzwords in education, is getting thrown around in ed-tech conversations as one of the hottest trends taking over course instruction and luring prospective students to colleges. But just like the current backlash against MOOCs, it’s important to know why a trend occurs in order to gauge its shelf life. Blended learning is constantly evolving, with most of the innovations and refinements developed to support student-centered learning, explains DreamBox Learning, creator of the infographic.

Should Online Courses Go Through ‘Beta Testing’? How One Provider Taps 2,500 Volunteers - Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

Wesley Engers has an unusual hobby: beta testing online courses from well-known colleges and universities. He doesn’t get paid, but he helps improve the quality of courses by catching mistakes in quizzes and pointing out befuddling bits of video lectures, which can then be clarified before professors release the course to students. “I find it much more engaging than reading a book,” says Engers, a 29-year-old data scientist, when asked why he does it. “And I do enjoy giving back and trying to contribute to a community and help future students.” He’s one of about 2,500 volunteer beta testers for Coursera, and part of an expanded quality-control effort the company started in the past year.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Report: Millions of students reveal surprising online learning trends - MERIS STANSBURY, Campus Technology

New study reveals that collaboration is still not a prevalent online learning habit; mobile phones have yet to be used for serious learning. GoConqr surveyed over 2.5 million students and teachers currently using the platform from over 160 countries last year (2016) to better understand their online learning habits and how learning is changing in general. The study surveyed students and teachers ranging from secondary to postgraduate levels. Some of the key findings of the report reveal that students and teachers are using online platforms as an additional source to help with selected subjects. Also, despite the prevalence of social networking, online study tends to be a solitary activity, with 79 percent of those surveyed choosing not to study collaboratively when they are online. However, this percentage is decreasing over time as traditional learning methods are being replaced with online and blended teaching styles. [see the full study report here: ]

Are Free Online Courses Worth the Time and Effort? - John Boitnott, Entrepreneur

To assess the efficacy of their programs, Coursera surveyed 52,000 of their users and asked them how taking an online course benefited them. The majority (over 60 percent) said the move helped them develop skills in their new position. Forty percent reported that they believed it improved their candidacy for a new job. Only 25 percent, however, said that they found a new job, and less than 5 percent received a raise. The final takeaway is this: free online courses can improve your current skill set and make you a better employee. It also shows initiative, which managers like. But it won’t necessarily land you a dream job.

How data analytics can bring out the best in a university - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

New systems of data analytics can equip college campuses to set and reach goals for student achievement, operational efficiency, and financial stability, Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Ed reported — but the first step in harnessing these benefits is understanding concepts of implementation and execution. A risk that campuses face is the integration of analytics in partial rollouts, which can create 'haves and have-nots' among students and faculty, and gleaning best practices from peer institutions and vendors is a good way of preventing this kind of digital divide. Institutional culture and campus governance are also critical areas to consider before a major tech rollout, as faculty, staff and students will have to buy into the new systems and their potential benefits.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Distance Learning Conspiracy - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

The truth is finally out. Distance learning is a plot. Don’t believe it? Read the excellent WCET Distance Education Price and Cost Report. The key in decoding the meaning of this report is to think about the meaning of its findings beyond online learning. Ask yourself - what does distance education mean for residential education? The answer - and the conspiracy that I’ve been a part of for going on two decades - is that distance learning is actually plot to smuggle instructional designer and learning science into higher education.

Elite colleges bet big on micro-degree programs - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Several colleges and universities are now offering micro degree programs in the hopes of attracting professionals interested in career development while selling full graduate degree programs in the process, NPR reported yesterday. MIT, Columbia University and the University of Michigan are just a few of the high research institutions attracting students through these online programs, which offer advanced credentialing in engineering, business and computer science for a fraction of tuition costs that can exceed $60,000 a year for full degrees. The programs, which have the same rigorous admission standards as traditional offerings, can present a challenge to some students who enroll without prior experience in the disciplines.

These Top Schools Are Offering Big Savings On Master's Degrees, But There's A Catch - KIRK CARAPEZZA, NPR

There's an experiment underway at a few top universities around the world to make some master's degrees out there more affordable. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, says the class of 2018 can get a master's degree in supply chain management with tens of thousands in savings. The university's normal price runs upwards of $67,000 for the current academic year. But it's not as simple as sending in a coupon with your tuition bill. There are big hurdles for students, and clear benefits for the universities.

A Guide to Picking a Learning Management System: The Right Questions to Ask - Mary Jo Madda, EdSurge

As University of Central Florida’s Associate Vice President of Distributed Learning, Tom Cavanagh, wrote in an article for EDUCAUSE, “every institute has a unique set of instructional and infrastructure circumstances to consider when deciding on an LMS,” but at the same time, “all institutions face certain common requirements”—whether a small charter school, a private university or a large public school district. Thus, garnered from conversations with both K-12 and higher education administrators, the following checklist provides a starting point for any educator interested in prepping for the inevitable task of choosing an LMS for the 2017-2018 school year. (And for some additional help, each educator has offered rationales for why those checklist items should be included.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ransomware: Should you pay up? - Stephanie Condon, ZD Net

The use of ransomware has spiked in recent years: Roughly A high percentage of spam emails in 2016 contained ransomware, according to a recent IBM Security study. Part of the reason is simply that it works: Nearly 70 percent of business victims surveyed by IBM said they paid hackers to recover data. The incentives of hackers are straightforward -- they're looking for a big payday -- but it's less clear whether their victims should cooperate. "It's very simple in my mind," said Michael Duff, the CISO for Stanford University, on a ransomware panel at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Monday. "If you're not able to reconstitute a system in the timeframe you need, and you need it up and running, pay the ransom." Neil Jenkins, of the Homeland Security Department's Enterprise Performance Management Office (EPMO), said that, "From the US government perspective, we definitely discourage the payment of ransom.""From a national perspective... paying ransom encourages the business model," he said. "The reason this has become such a popular thing to do is they're actually making money off of this."

Infected Vending Machines And Light Bulbs DDoS A University - Lee Mathews, Forbes

IoT devices have become a favorite weapon of cybercriminals. Their generally substandard security -- and the sheer numbers of connected devices -- make them an enticing target. We've seen what a massive IoT botnet is capable of doing, but even a relatively small one can cause a significant amount of trouble. Infected Vending Machines And LightA few thousand infected IoT devices can cut a university off from the Internet, according to an incident that the Verizon RISK (Research, Investigations, Solutions and Knowledge) team was asked to assist with. All the attacker had to do was re-program the devices so they would periodically try to connect to seafood-related websites. By training around 5,000 devices to send DNS queries simultaneously (for those who aren't familiar, DNS is what allows your computer to turn a name like into an IP address that it can connect to). In this particular case, those devices included everything from drink vending machines to street lamps.

Coursera’s New Strategy Takes Inspiration From Netflix—and LinkedIn - Jeffrey R. Young & Sydney Johnson, EdSurge

Coursera is quietly testing elements of a new strategy, with the goal of moving from a platform for courses to a broader career-building service. It’s part of a continued evolution of MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. Two Stanford University professors founded Coursera about five years ago, amid a wave of hype that free online courses could one day replace residential undergraduate colleges. That never happened, and since then companies like Coursera have been trying to find their niche—and a sustainable business model.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What educators can learn about effective teaching from a Harvard prof - ALAN NOVEMBER, Campus Technology

Harvard professor David Malan has managed to pull off a neat trick: His Computer Science 50 course is the most popular course at both Harvard and Yale. By examining his success, we can learn some important lessons about effective teaching. CS50 assumes no prior knowledge or skill in computer programming, yet it’s extremely demanding. Despite its rigor, CS50 regularly attracts thousands of students each year. While some aspire to become software engineers, others enroll just to experience the course. Why is Professor Malan’s course so popular, even with students who don’t plan a career in computer science—and even though it requires a lot of work? Here are three keys to Malan’s effective teaching that I think all schools everywhere should apply, from K-12 schools to colleges and universities.

7 Tips for Listing MOOCs on Your Résumé - David Weldon, Campus Technology

Georgia Tech first began offering MOOCs in 2011 and has since increased its investment in the program. Last year the school put its most difficult degree program — the master's degree in information technology — online, at a cost to the student of $6,700. In order to be accepted into the MOOC program, a student had to meet the full criteria of being a Georgia Tech student. And the institution worked hard to make sure that online students would receive an education that is on par with their campus counterparts. So, once students have gone through such a high-quality program, how do they use their MOOC experience to best advantage? Sham Mustafa, CEO and founder of Correlation One, has some thoughts. His company provides matchmaking services, focused on connecting employers with highly skilled data scientists. Those data scientists are heavily represented in the first waves of MOOC students.

Online Learning Technologies to Boost the Global Medical Education Market Through 2021 - Technavio, Business Wire

Global medical education market to grow at a CAGR of close to 17% during the period 2017-2021. Medical professionals are increasingly imparting education through online methodologies, largely replacing traditional physical classrooms. Universities and healthcare organizations are providing online medical education courses. Online methods such as flipped classrooms and blended learning offer myriad benefits to both students and teachers. These benefits vary from access features to course materials, online assessment facilities. It also has varied synchronous as well as asynchronous communication means such as webcasts and video conferencing. “Online learning technologies are becoming largely popular in emerging nations such as Kenya and China wherein most students do not have access to qualified teachers,” says Jhansi.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Synthesis and Reactions to the 2017 NMC Horizon Report - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Trying to convince non-edtech academics to read and engage with this report. You don’t have time to read a 56 page report. Almost nothing that I could say could convince you to download, print, and devote a solid hour to the 2017 NMC Horizon Report. But maybe I can convince you to read the Executive Summary (2 pages, including graphics). This will take 5 minutes tops. Maybe less. I don’t need to persuade my edtech tribe about the merits of the Horizon Report. We love this stuff. A 56 page mirror on our thinking is too short. The Horizon Report is assembled from feedback from "78 education and technology experts” using a "modified Delphi process”. My goal is to that all of you edtech skeptics should put eyes to the NMC Report. You just might be surprised. [the report can be downloaded here:]

Reprogramming the Digital Workforce With Online Education - Insights, Samsung Government

Today’s workforce faces a greater range of threats to their livelihoods than ever before. Many jobs will come under threat in the next decade from trends such as globalization, automation and robotics. However, the growing digital workforce doesn’t necessarily mean the end for today’s workers. With the abundance of education and training classes now available online, employees can stay ahead of the game and safeguard their futures by developing new skills and talents, making them indispensable to their employers. Education has long been seen as something which you do at the start of your career, jamming as much training as possible into the early part of your life, before moving into the world of work. However, with today’s digital workforce and the trend of continuing education gaining pace, employees — and employers — are beginning to see the benefits of upgrading skills while on the job.