Friday, October 20, 2017

A PayPal exec's favorite interview question reveals the skill all good employees should have - Áine Cain, Business Insider

"I would ask this of any candidate — what did you learn this week?" Hann told Business Insider. "Even if it's only Tuesday. What's something new you learned this week and how did you apply it in what you do?" Major companies like EY and IBM encourage employees to keep gathering new skills through online learning programs for which graduates earn "digital badges" that certify they've completed the course. In fact, reported Business Insider's Abby Jackson, certain IBM badges can be used toward Northeastern professional master's degree programs.

Google partners with Udacity to offer 50,000 new scholarships for aspiring developers - Scott Scrivens, Android Police

Grow with Google is the company's educational initiative offering free training and tools to help kickstart the careers of budding developers across the United States. The platform has several partners with which Google works to create learning programs and provide support. One such partner is Udacity, which offers free and paid online courses for a range of different technical disciplines. Together, Google and Udacity are offering 50,000 new scholarships in the US. They will specifically target Android and mobile web developers with a view to training them up and getting them into work. The courses are intended to prepare students for Google's Associate Android Developer and Mobile Web Specialist developer certifications.

Solve the Student Debt Crisis - David Levin, US News

Student debt is skyrocketing, and we're not even beginning to address it. According to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, total student debt now tops $1.3 trillion. It is the single fastest-growing segment of U.S. consumer debt, increasing by 170 percent over the past decade. Some 44 million Americans currently hold student debt – and 8 million of those have already defaulted on their loans. Why do so many Americans struggle to pay off their student debt? There's no single, simple answer, but there are perhaps two core factors: the rising cost of college itself, and – perhaps less predictably – our dismal graduation rates.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

MIT Moves Beyond the MOOC to Court Companies, Professional Learners - Sydney Johnson, EdSurge

There are few key differences between MIT Professional Education’s new and existing online offerings. For starters, Digital Plus will not be “open enrollment,” meaning the courses will only be available to paying companies or organizations. Piloto says that’s meant to enable each course to be capped at 50 students—a sharp scale back from the more MOOC-like courses, which can enroll as many as 1,500 students at a time. Capping each class allows Digital Plus courses to provide a tighter, more focused learning experience, Piloto says. Digital Plus courses—which are taught by MIT lecturers—will focus on project- and team-based exercises, along with a combination of videos, reading materials, and group work. Those elements of the curriculum may take place online, in-person via video, physically on the MIT campus, or at a company site.

Udacity Official Declares MOOCs ‘Dead’ (Though the Company Still Offers Them) - Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

It was Udacity vice president Clarissa Shen who this week said “they are dead,” when talking about MOOCs in an interview with The Economic Times in India. “MOOCs are a failed product, at least for the goals we had set for ourselves,” she told the newspaper. “Our mission is to bring relevant education which advances people in careers and socio-economic activities, and MOOCs aren't the way.” Udacity’s co-founder, Sebastian Thrun, famously announced a “pivot” away from MOOCs back in 2013, and since then the company has focused its energies on paid sequences of courses called “nanodegrees” that it produces in cooperation with large tech employers. But it has continued to offer free versions of its course videos for those who don’t want or need a certificate of completion.

UF offers free online courses to students displaced by hurricanes in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands - Steve Orlando, University of Florida

The University of Florida is offering free courses through UF Online to assist college students displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Undergraduate students displaced from select colleges and who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may enroll as non-degree seeking students in UF Online courses for the spring 2018 term and/or the summer 2018 term(s) at no charge for tuition and fees. UF anticipates being able to handle 1,000 students through the program.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Immersive Learning, VR, AR, MR - CRAIG WEISS, Craig Weiss Blog

I believe that at some point e-learning will intersect with immersive learning. By 2020. My earlier statements of 85% of training and L&D (corporate) by 2020 being e-learning with the 15% being F2F needs an update. 85% online. 10% immersive. 5% Instructor F2F. Two entities for the future of learning. One is already in play, e-Learning. The other is on its way, I-Learning (Immersive learning). But whereas content/courses are commodities today in e-learning, it can’t be when it comes to immersive learning. Third party vendors and custom course/content shops will have to see this and commit to it. Consumers (buyers) will have to ensure it.

Virtual Reality and Learning: The Newest Landscape for Higher Education - Brian Shuter, Wired

Virtual worlds promise to deliver the best aspects of both real-world classrooms and online distance learning into a single platform. With tools that provide avatars that represent the educators and the students, voice and video capabilities, powerpoint and other collaborative whiteboard technologies and group and private messaging chat, educators are finding that the newest generation of virtual worlds can simplify the lecture and presentation process, allow students to ask/answers questions to their teacher or each other (without interrupting the lecture), socialize and learn in a very streamlined manner. All of this is done with the convenience and cost efficiency of distance learning.

4 Useful Applications Of Mind Mapping In Business - Sandhya Lakhanpal, eLearning Industry

The concept of graphic organizers and thinking maps is all too familiar in the field of education. From outlining an expository text to storyboarding a narrative one, concept maps or mind maps are a commonly used tool in K-12. This tool is equally beneficial in the business world, especially in the arena of Instructional Design. This article gives a glimpse of the wealth that this magnificent tool brings to the field of Instructional Design. Before we delve into the uses, let’s construct a working definition. A mind map is a graphic representation of thoughts, ideas, concepts and notes. As the old adage goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words". A mind map provides a visual structure depicting the linear, or non-linear, relationships among concepts or ideas.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The 11 college majors with the highest unemployment rates - Chris Weller, Business Insider

For all the pressure on college students to pick a lucrative major, not everyone goes where the jobs are. According to career site Zippia, which used US Census data to estimate the unemployment rate for people 22 to 25 years old in various fields, there are several areas of study that make job-finding harder. Many of the majors deal with the arts, society, and communication. But some are still related to science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM). The findings suggest that even if students pursue STEM fields, which data show are lacking in new talent, recent grads aren't guaranteed a job. Here are the majors that produce the highest unemployment rates:

3 reasons why VR’s killer app will be collaborative - MICHAEL PARK, Venture Beat

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are game-changers for the enterprise, enabling real-time remote collaboration experiences that were simply not possible before. While these technologies have not yet gained traction at a mass-market level, they hold great promise as the most practical use case for immersive technologies.  A key point that resonated with all of these entrepreneurs is that collaborative use cases could spur a huge change in the way we interact in social settings — for better or for worse. As Rousseau says, “I think we’re facing a huge choice as a species: Do we want a future where technology replaces our social needs, like in the movie ‘Her’, or do we want a future where technology enhances our social relationships with real people, so that we can have intense emotional experiences with the people we care about — regardless of the distance?” As we move into an uncertain future where our real identities become increasingly intertwined with our digital identities, we’ll have to decide how we should build our lives around, and within, this new medium.

Facebook Finally Unveiled a Standalone VR Headset, And It’s Just $199 - Futurism

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg unveiled the Oculus Go today, at the Oculus Connect 4 keynote event. This low-cost, standalone VR headset will be available early next year, potentially introducing VR to a wider market. At the Oculus Connect 4 keynote, happening now in San Jose, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerburg just unveiled a device that could make virtual reality (VR) technologies more accessible. Introducing the Oculus Go: a standalone VR headset that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. At only $199, Zuckerberg called it “the most accessible VR headset yet.”

Monday, October 16, 2017

Reuters: These are the world’s 100 most innovative universities - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

The top 10 innovative universities are: 1. Stanford University 2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 3. Harvard University 4. University of Pennsylvania 5. KU Leuven 6. KAIST 7. University of Washington 8. University of Michigan System 9. University of Texas System 10. Vanderbilt University Overall, the top 100 consists of 51 universities based in North America, 26 in Europe, 20 in Asia and three in the Middle East. For more on the Reuters Top 100, including a detailed methodology and profiles of the universities, visit

Hyperledger Launches Free MOOC about Blockchain on edX - US Newswire

Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, announced today the availability of its first free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) -- Blockchain for Business: An Introduction to Hyperledger. The free, self-paced online course is offered through, the nonprofit online learning platform founded in 2012 by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The course provides an introduction to Hyperledger and its key business blockchain frameworks.  "Interest in blockchain technology is exploding; Software developers, product teams, and business managers are all desperately eager to figure out how this technology can solve real-world problems," said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. "This first introductory-level course is carefully designed for both nontechnical and technical audiences, to bring everyone further up the learning curve and get started with it on their own business needs."

6 Big Data and ML Takeaways from Strata 2017 - Joel Hans, RT Insights

The recent Strata Data Conference offered a look at the future of AI, big data, data science, machine learning, stream processing and more. The Strata Data Conference, held at the end of last month in New York, pledged to bring together the leading minds, and most promising new ideas, in big data. Between AI, big data, data science, machine learning (ML), stream processing, and more, it was a sophisticated, productive, and ultimately fascinating look at the future of this fast-growing industry. A few ideas and innovations percolated into the conversations held during and just after the event.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Survey: Faculty Getting More Confident in Tech Skills, but Students' Skills Are Slipping - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Faculty confidence in their technological abilities is growing. In a nationwide survey on the use of technology for teaching and learning, a full 84 percent of respondents said they are "absolutely confident" or "very confident" in their tech skills (up from 79 percent in 2016), and another 14 percent consider their skills "adequate." Just 2 percent said their tech skills are "below average," and not one person identified as "incompetent." Those findings came out of Campus Technology's second annual Teaching with Technology Survey, in which we asked faculty how they feel about tech in the classroom, where they go for IT support and more.

AI, Merging of Digital and Physical Worlds Among Top 10 Tech Trends for 2018 - Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Nearly every app and service will incorporate some level of artificial intelligence in the next few years. Whether they're obviously intelligent or use intelligence behind the scenes, these tools "create a new intelligent intermediary layer between people and systems and have the potential to transform the nature of work and the structure of the workplace," according to a new trends forecast. Gartner has released its list of top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018 with a focus for the coming year on technologies related to artificial intelligence and machine learning and those that blend the physical and digital worlds. "Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years."

A Big Publisher Embraces OER - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

For years, big-time publishers have been skeptical of open educational resources, questioning their quality and durability. But one of those publishers, Cengage, is today announcing a new product line built around OER. Cengage predicts that the use of OER -- free, adaptable educational course materials -- could triple over the next five years. In a report published last year, Cengage said that education and technology companies were ready to “embrace the movement” -- adding their own services and technology to create “value-added digital solutions that help institutions use OER to its best advantage.” With OpenNow, Cengage is sending its clearest signal yet that it is serious about OER

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Certificates gaining popularity, but students struggle to pay back loans - Pat Donachie, Education Dive

Certificate programs have continued to see an expansion in enrollment. But, many students in these programs are still struggling to pay back education loans, with 44% of certificate students who borrowed in the 2003-04 school year having defaulted by 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal. Considering the default rate, many educators and policymakers have started to see the importance of addressing student ROI from certification programs, as it determines whether students may be able to repay loans from, according to a representative for the Center for American Progress. Some certification programs, like manufacturing have yielded positive results, but the success of others is still unclear. A report this year from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce there is on average more than 30 million jobs with an annual salary around $55,000, which do not require a college degree — which highlights why that more students may be seeking alternative degree options through certificates.

Kurzweil Claims That the Singularity Will Happen by 2045 - Dom Galeon and Christianna Reedy, Futurism

The singularity is that point in time when all the advances in technology, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI), will lead to machines that are smarter than human beings. Kurzweil’s timetable for the singularity is consistent with other predictions,– notably those of Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who predicts that the dawn of super-intelligent machines will happen by 2047. But for Kurzweil, the process towards this singularity has already begun. “That leads to computers having human intelligence, our putting them inside our brains, connecting them to the cloud, expanding who we are. Today, that’s not just a future scenario,” Kurzweil said. “It’s here, in part, and it’s going to accelerate.”

AI and Robots Will Significantly Threaten Jobs in 5 Years - Kyree Leary, Futurism

A report suggests people only have five years before automation and AI threaten jobs and force them to learn new skills for the workforce. The firm PwC surveyed 10,000 people from around the world, revealing people are concerned about automation, but they're also willing to learn. The report, titled Workforce of the Future, surveyed 10,000 people across China, India, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. to “better understand the future of work.” Of those, nearly 37% think artificial intelligence and robotics will put their jobs at risk; in 2014, 33% had a similar concern.  Automation is happening more slowly than expected, but it’s a clear, impending challenge that needs to be prepared for. Whether the answer is a cash payment from governments, better job training, or other solutions, a decision needs to be made before we’re scrambling for short-term solutions.