Monday, August 21, 2017

New Tech Taps Blockchain to Secure Student Data - Sri Ravipati, THE Journal

Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education have finished developing a cloud-based platform built on IBM Blockchain that allows a secure exchange of educational data. Blockchain technology records and keeps information safe by creating a decentralized record of data that can be confirmed and validated without relying on a single authority. IBM Blockchain underpins Sony’s new education platform, which harnesses IBM Cloud and The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 blockchain framework. "Blockchain technology has the potential to impact systems in a wide variety of industries, and the educational sphere is no exception when educational data is securely stored on the blockchain and shared among permissioned users,” said Masaaki Isozu, president of Sony Global Education, in a prepared statement.

Urgent: Today’s students need a digitally fluent college website-here’s how - LIZ SCHULTE, eCampus News

Students can no longer remember the world before the technology revolution. Digital fluency isn’t optional for schools; it’s a must. Across industries, companies are scrambling to keep up with the rapidly changing consumer tides — education isn’t immune to these changes. People are naturally gravitating toward businesses and schools whose brands speak to them in an innovative, clear way demonstrating the business understands the wants and needs of today’s students. Those who have held onto older ways of doing things feel the effects of change more than those who are listening and changing. What do students want from schools? Better digital access. They want to be able to use their phones or tablets take care of what they need to complete from class assignments to managing their student financial aid.

Nine reasons for your brand to use social listening tools - Tereza Litsa, ClickZ

Social listening is the process of monitoring and analyzing conversations across social media, centered around specific keywords, phrases, or brands. As social media becomes more important for marketers, it is also crucial to justify its return on investment in the strongest possible way. Social listening can be beneficial both in helping brands explore the different opportunities to improve their online presence, and in proving the worth of social media as a marketing tool. When done well, it can go beyond simply monitoring for mentions and likes to become a crucial component of a social strategy.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How can schools better target adult and first-generation students? - Pat Donachie, Education Dive

With most college students having at least one “non-traditional” characteristic, colleges and universities need to amend their recruiting and advertising strategies to attract potential applicants, including first-generation college students as well as adult learners, according to a recent op-ed in University Business. Some colleges and universities are reaching out to students in K-12 schools, with the belief that earlier support can help first-gen students in the process of selecting a school. For example, Colorado State University offers a number of different tutoring, instruction and professional development services in high schools and middle schools.  Schools should also consider featuring more adult learners in online and promotional materials about the institution, as it could make adult students returning to the classroom feel more welcome. And many of these students will likely want to complete their schooling as quickly as possible, so schools could consider offering accelerated courses.

Amazon’s Alexa: Your Next Teacher - Cait Etherington, eLearningInside News

To date, Canvas, like most learning management systems, can be accessed via a computer, mobile phone or tablet. With the Alexa addition, Canvas can now be accessed by voice and not simply via a keyboard. This means that students will be able to ask Alexa key questions (e.g., What were the main points made in today’s class?), and Alexa will be able to offer a summary. Students will also be able to ask Alexa to quiz them on key concepts in preparation for an upcoming quiz or test. Of course, students will also be able to ask other pressing questions, including “What is the homework for tomorrow? Do I have any readings? Where are the readings…are they posted on the website?” If an instructor has posted any videos online, students will now also have the option of watching them on their television rather than on their computer, smart mobile phone, or tablet. For instructors, the new feature will also enable them to carry out routine tasks, including providing student feedback, without spending hours hunched over a keyboard typing.

Nearly half of prospective college students don't expect to graduate - Pat Donachie, Education Dive

A pair of recently released surveys suggests that half of the nation’s high school students feel academically unprepared for college, while half of the students entering their postsecondary education are anxious that they may not graduate, suggesting a variety of stressors could keep them from attaining a diploma. The concerns incoming students have about their college career can be a significant challenge for higher education institutions in supporting students when they arrive in school and throughout their college career. Dr. Jerlando Jackson, the director of the University of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory in the Center for Education Research, said colleges and universities that recognize how important a student’s first year can be can assist students in crises of academic preparation and confidence.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Thoughts On How Online Data Science Courses Stack Up To A Master's Degree - Gregory Ferenstein, Forbes

University degrees are really, really expensive and there are plenty of new startups in Silicon Valley offering job readiness training for much cheaper. So, how does a $100,000 graduate degree in statistics stack up to an online course for 1/100th the price? The short answer is that I think for many jobs, an online certificate in data science from a quality online education provider is comparable to a more traditional graduate statistics degree. For the past year or so, I've been sampling various online degree providers, including Udacity, Coursera, DataCamp, and EdX to see how they compare to my (much pricier) Master's in Mathematical Behavioral Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. I still have a lot of courses to take and will be doing more reviews in the future, but I think I now have enough experience to draw a few conclusions.

Bootcamps expanding at traditional universities, but efficacy of model still unstable - Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

Over the last two years, bootcamps — not just for coding, but also for intensive skill development in other fields, like healthcare and accounting — have grown in popularity among traditional nonprofit, four year insttitutions, reports EdSurge. Though bootcamps are proliferating throughout higher ed, it is still unclear whether the model will be successful as an alternative credential pathway model, as Reuters reports that many of these for-profit schools are shutting down. For example, the well known Dev Bootcamp announced in July its plans to shut down for lack of a viable business model, even though there has been growth in enrollment.  Though some bootcamps are closing, others are thriving, like Flatiron School, which has a 97% job placement rate and has its student outcomes audited by Massachusetts, according to Reuters — highlighting not only that success of such programs are heavilly tied to ROI beyond graduation, but also that the traditional education pathway with accountability for student outcomes is here to stay.

CBE programs face challenges of growth at many institutions, report finds - Pat Donachie, Education Dive

For mainstream colleges and universities, competency-based education programs remain the exception to the norm, and "program stability and institutional readiness" are vital to their success, according to the second annual report on CBE programs from Eduventures, in conjunction with Ellucian and the American Council on Education.  The report found the most successful programs come from the institutions where CBE programs where not brand new, but were receiving revived interest from institutions and educators. The schools with effective programs also more often used experienced individuals from within the institution, rather than outside hires or consultants.  The analysis concludes that progress on instituting new CBE programs in a widespread manner will be "incremental," with the heads of many CBE programs reporting that they had become used to the halting momentum of creating such programs. Schools working to institute these options should conduct a "self-assessment of institutional readiness" in order to prepare, the report stated.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Purdue Tackles Job Training - Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

Purdue University unveiled another outside-the-box move Thursday, announcing a five-year deal with one of India’s largest technology outsourcing firms, Infosys, under which the university will perform joint research and provide training and classes for the company's employees. The two parties cast the deal as a significant step in work-force development in both Indiana and the U.S. Given Purdue’s high profile as a public research university, it could also prove to be a notable step for higher education, moving four-year institutions further into job training more typically performed by community colleges and for-profits.

Penn State World Campus Taps VR for Educating Teachers - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

A project at Penn State World Campus immersed teachers into a virtual classroom as part of a graduate-level special education course. Students could use a virtual reality headset to watch 360-degree videos or view them as regular videos on YouTube.  The course, "Special Education 801," helps teachers learn how to respond to challenging behaviors. The 360-degree view allows them to be placed into the classroom virtually to view a teacher explaining how she has arranged the space for learning. The videos were created using a 360-degree video camera and uploaded into the course in just a few days, Penn State World Campus representatives said.

Launching OER Degree Pathways: An Early Snapshot of Achieving the Dream's OER Degree Initiative and Emerging Lesson - Achieving the Dream

After one year, largest initiative to promote the use of open educational resources for degree completion finds robust course development, strong faculty support, and broad-based leadership for OER use. Home > News Center > Press Releases > After one year, largest initiative to promote the use of open educational resources for degree completion finds robust course development, strong faculty support, and broad-based leadership for OER use. SILVER SPRING, MD (June 22, 2017) Preliminary results from a national effort to expand community college degree programs that use open educational resources (OER) nationwide found high levels of faculty interest and engagement in OER. OER are freely available learning materials that users can download, edit and share. The study, Launching OER Degree Pathways: An Early Snapshot of Achieving the Dream's OER Degree Initiative and Emerging Lessons, was released today by Achieving the Dream (ATD). Conducted by SRI International and the rpk GROUP, the report indicates that faculty at colleges participating in ATD’s OER Degree Initiative are changing their teaching and that students are at least as or more engaged using OER courses than students in non-OER classrooms.

Who's Worth More: the Administrator or the Professor? - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Should an average salary for full professors of $102,402 be considered low compared to an average salary of $334,617 for college and university presidents and $202,048 for chief financial officers? Should institutions be concerned that the ratio of faculty and staff positions per administrator dropped from 3.5 in 1990 to 2.2 in 2012? Those are the kinds of questions posed by a new report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) that encourages college leaders to contain and even cut administrative spending.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Course Market Delivers Alternative Credentials and Certificates to Higher Ed - Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

A new digital marketplace is helping colleges and universities turn existing courses and content into certificates and digital credentials. Course Market aims to streamline any institution's ability to deliver modular course offerings that meet shifting learner and employer demands. A collaborative effort among education technology companies, Course Market combines iDesign’s design and processing support, Instructure’s learning management system technology and Credly’s credential technology, allowing institutions to: Enroll students in continuing education programs; Accept payments; Deliver content; and Issue digital badges or certificates, shareable via LinkedIn or Facebook.

Nearly 1.5 million college students to use free textbooks this school year - eCampus News

Students are expected to save an estimated $145 million in the 2017-18 academic year by using free textbooks from this platform. Nearly 1.5 million U.S. college students are expected to save an estimated $145 million in the 2017-18 academic year by using free textbooks from OpenStax, the Rice University-based publisher of open education resource materials. “The adoption of OpenStax nationally is taking hold and saving students and families money,” said Daniel Williamson, managing director of OpenStax. “Individual faculty as well as institutions can make tremendous gains in college affordability by using OpenStax textbooks.” OpenStax projects this year’s savings to be nearly double last year’s impact on students’ wallets. Since 2012 OpenStax has saved nearly 3.5 million students more than $340 million by offering 29 textbooks for the most-attended college courses.

3 Ways IT Is Impacting Student Success - David Raths, Campus Technology

Over the past several years, student success initiatives have burst onto the scene as academic officials have sought to respond to pressure to improve retention and graduation rates. Philanthropic groups such as the Gates Foundation and state legislatures have made student success a point of emphasis. Many universities don't have the technology infrastructure to respond to the needs of these new programs, which raises the question of the CIO's role in designing solutions. Why should CIOs be proactive on the issue of student success? "It is important to be engaged in things that are important to the overall mission of the university," said Scott Winslow, practice manager at EAB, a consulting firm and technology platform provider.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Doctors and Distance Learning: Randomized Controlled Study of a Remote Flipped Classroom Neuro-otology Curriculum - Markets Insider

A new study published in Frontiers in Neurology examining remote clinical neuroscience education shows that distance learning has the same outcomes as classroom learning for training healthcare professionals. New study finds that the Carrick Institute model of distance learning has the same outcomes as classroom learning for training healthcare professionals. [Randomized Controlled Study of a Remote Flipped Classroom Neuro-otology Curriculum, Frontiers in Neurology, 2017]  Dr. Frederick R. Carrick, founder of Carrick Institute and his team at Bedfordshire Centre for Mental Health Research in association with the University of Cambridge, Harvard Medical School'sHarvard Macy and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institutes, conducted a randomized controlled trial of contemporary medical education. The research demonstrates methods and practice of teaching clinical neurology remotely, which has resulted in doctors demonstrating successfully improved diagnostic and treatment skills.

Shuttered Wisconsin for-profit to reopen campuses under same management - Pat Donachie, Education Dive

Broadview University recently bought several Globe University schools in Wisconsin. The Obama administration penalized Globe late last year for misrepresenting job opportunities in one of its programs, but the Trump administration is proving to be more sympathetic to the for-profit chain and its owners, according to Inside Higher Ed. The Wythe family, which ran the Wisconsin Globe campuses, also owns Broadview and will resume the helm of the re-opened schools. Broadview's CEO argues that an investigation conducted by Minnesota's attorney general into Globe University does not have bearing on its Wisconsin campuses. In December, the Department of Education blocked Broadview's bid to buy the campuses, but the Trump administration reversed that decision. The bid received surprising support from the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board, which has been in tense conflict with Gov. Scott Walker. The board holds regulatory power over many for-profit schools in the state, and Walker has been trying to weaken the power of the board after several failed attempts to do so.

AI pioneer Andrew Ng says his new online course will help build ‘an AI-powered society’ - James Vincent, the Verge

Lots of people will tell you they’re nervous about the changes artificial intelligence will bring to the world, but Andrew Ng is confident it’s all for the best. The former AI chief of Baidu and founder of Google Brain is on a mission to build what he calls an “AI-powered society” — one where smart computers are as integral to businesses as electricity. And to bring about that future, Ng, now an adjunct professor at Stanford, will share what he knows best by teaching.  Ng is launching a new course on deep learning on Coursera, the online education site he co-founded. The syllabus will follow his popular machine learning course, which has attracted some 2 million enrollments since its launch in 2011.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

To save students money, colleges are looking to the Open Educational Resources movement - PAT SCHNEIDER, The Capital Times

One national study in 2013 found that 65 percent of students said they decided against buying a textbook because it was too expensive, even though nearly all of them worried it would hurt their grade.  An appreciation for how the costs of textbooks and other learning materials make it harder for many students to pay for college has prompted universities across the country — and some university systems — to adopt policies to create or adopt what are called open educational resources, or OER. Most simply, OER are textbooks and other learning materials produced under a copyright that typically allows their use and adaptation free of charge rather than prohibiting use or requiring payment of a fee. The movement has a way to go. Only 5.3 percent of courses nationwide used an open textbook in 2015-2016, according to the Babson Survey Research Group.

8 Essential Digital Literacy Skills that Students Need - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

What was once called typing class is now known as technology class. Gone are the days where computer class was spent playing Oregon Trail and creating word processing documents. The networked world in which students exist demands an education that prepares students to produce and consume information in a variety of formats. These formats range from text to images to multimedia. Students need a broad variety of fluencies to be prepared for the 21st-century workforce. Even jobs traditionally thought of us being technology light now require someone who has basic computer skills. This article describes those digital literacy skills paramount to success in any career.