Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Clinton's 'Innovation Agenda' for Higher Ed - Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday proposed opening up federal financial aid to alternative education providers, softening student loan repayment requirements for entrepreneurs and granting green cards to STEM students as part of wide-ranging tech and innovation agenda. “We need more job creators, and we need more young people starting businesses,” Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, said during a visit to the Denver-based boot camp Galvanize. “What we’ve been doing is insufficient for doing what we want for young Americans or even midcareer Americans.” The plan proposes $10 billion in federal funding (a significant amount in tight budget times, no matter who wins the election) for students to enroll in vetted boot camps, coding academies, massive open online courses and other programs run by alternative education providers, as well as providing unspecified rewards for colleges that accept those programs as credit toward graduation.

Coursera president Daphne Koller: Your old college diploma isn’t good enough for the 21st century economy - ERIC JOHNSON, Recode

A college degree, per the old conventional wisdom, was your ticket to a career of better work and higher pay. That may still be true, but the digital economy demands ever more, Coursera president and co-founder Daphne Koller said on the newest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. Coursera’s pitch to students is that education should last a lifetime and that it’s too big a risk for them to stop learning new skills in their 20s. "The things you learned in college 15 years ago are no longer the skills that you need for your next job," Koller said. "Millennials today are expected to change jobs something like every three years. The job that they need next is going to have a completely different skillset than the job that they previously had."

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to Grow at Slower Pace in 2016 - Richard Chang, THE Journal

Global smartphone sales will continue to grow, but not in the double digits anymore, according to market research firm Gartner. Smartphone sales are expected to grow 7 percent worldwide in 2016 and reach 1.5 billion units. That is significantly down from 14.4 percent growth in 2015, but it’s still substantial growth, equating to a new smartphone for one out of every five human beings on the Earth. In 2010, smartphone sales hit their highest growth, at 73 percent, Gartner said. In 2020, smartphone sales are on pace to total 1.9 billion units. “The smartphone market will no longer grow at the levels it has reached over the last seven years,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, in a prepared statement.

Coursera on a Mission to Help Refugees - Lauren Camera, US News

The online course provider is launching an ambitious effort to help refugees gain the skills they need to transition to new lives. At the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, the online course powerhouse will provide English-language instruction to refugees. Along with Libraries Without Borders, it will work with refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in partnership with the Institute of International Education, with refugees in Jordan. With Samaschool in Jordan and Kenya, Coursera will help refugees focus on technology skills. Any nonprofit working with refugees also can apply to Coursera for one year of financial aid to pay for courses for refugees. The nonprofits will be able to access an individual online portal allowing them to track the progress of refugees taking the courses, and also to interface with other nonprofits to share best practices.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Deep Learning Isn’t a Dangerous Magic Genie. It’s Just Math - Oren Etzioni, Wired

Deep Learning is rapidly ‘eating’ artificial intelligence. But let’s not mistake this ascendant form of artificial intelligence for anything more than it really is. The famous author Arthur C. Clarke wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And deep learning is certainly an advanced technology—it can identify objects and faces in photos, recognize spoken words, translate from one language to another, and even beat the top humans at the ancient game of Go. But it’s far from magic. As companies like Google and Facebook and Microsoft continue to push this technology into everyday online services—and the world continues to marvel at AlphaGo, Google’s Go playing super-machine—the pundits often describe deep learning as an imitation of the human brain. But it’s really just simple math executed on an enormous scale.

Colorado startup seeks to track online learning - Caitlin Hendee, Colorado Business Journal

When Nicholas Garvin applied for a position at electric-car maker Tesla Motors in 2012, he felt there was really no good way to represent all the knowledge he had in the auto industry. " We invented the Stackup tool to categorize and score everything you read online," Garvin said. Stackup is a web application and smart browser extension that currently works with Google Chrome that can be used to track users' engagement on any given website. Engagement is then scored to provide insight into the time people spend learning on the web. The app is currently gaining steam in the education industry. Several teachers in both the Aurora Public Schools and Denver Public Schools are using it in their classrooms to create assignments asking students to spend time learning on the web.

Get Set Up to Succeed in an Online Degree Program - Joe Chapman, US News

Understanding the number of credits required for completing your online degree gives you a goal and end date to work toward. Before beginning classes, explore your access to student resources, like digital libraries and online tutoring. Once you have chosen your online degree program, you may be uncertain about how to now ensure your success. You may not even know what steps to take next. Perhaps you are also worried about how you will manage your online studies while juggling everyday life. However, fear not. There are a few easy steps you can take to ensure you are prepared to start your online degree program.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Law Schools Are Going Online to Reach New Students - ELIZABETH OLSON, NY Times

Law schools, in the face of marked declines in enrollment, revenue and jobs for graduates, are beginning to adopt innovative new ways of delivering legal education. Some law schools are moving away from relying solely on classic settings and instead are blending classroom learning with online instruction, said Michael B. Horn, a founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, a research institution in San Mateo, Calif., that explores disruptive innovation in education. “Legal education is confronting the most imminent threat in higher education,” Mr. Horn said. “Law schools are increasingly out of step with shifts in the legal services market.”

Trend: Online learning going personal - RONALD BETHKE, eCampus News

Personalized support and advising achieved through new advances in technology and data analytics are all recommended for helping today’s online students. In a recent online learning panel, innovative institutions that have achieved measurable success in their online learning programs waxed poetic on how harnessing technology to bolster personalized learning experiences is the key to online learning’s success; specifically in helping students advance toward their educational goals and create a culture of success. The panel was part of a recent webinar hosted by The New Media Consortium (NMC) called “Getting Personal,” and featured insight from college and university IT and technology leaders on how advancements in online learning environments and adaptive learning technologies are making it possible to support learners’ individual paths.

College Board and Khan Academy ‘revolutionising’ student learning in US - Rebecca Marriage, Relocate Global

As students in the US receive their SAT test results, the university preparation association, the College Board and online learning platform, the Khan Academy are celebrating an unparalleled online learning uptake by the nation’s students. Enlisting the help of the hugely successful and free online learning platform for school-age children, the Khan Academy, the College Board has developed interactive practice tools to create a tailored online learning experience to help students prepare for the test. Going live almost exactly a year ago, the College Board and Khan Academy have seen more than 1.4 million unique users take up the ‘Official SAT practice’ program online. The program is free to use and, says the College Board, is reaching students, ”across race, ethnicities, and income levels.” But, most importantly, the results of tests issued to students by the College Board are then communicated with the Khan Academy and students receive personal study recommendations.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

For-profit coding bootcamps better as educational add-on - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Software engineering jobs are expected to increase by more than 18% over the next seven years, nearly triple the rate of the entire labor market. Coding bootcamps are offering crash courses in this rapidly growing industry — and at a fraction of the cost attached to an associate's or four-year degree in computer science. Skeptics say crash courses in coding do not offer the full range of skills sought by most employers in the industry.

University of Wyoming president to evaluate program cuts - BOB MOEN, Casper Star Tribune

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols said she will declare a financial crisis that will allow for the evaluation and possible elimination of academic and nonacademic programs at the state's only public four-year university. The university has to cut more than $40 million from its budget over the next two years to compensate for reduced state aid because of a drop in tax revenue from the downturn in Wyoming's energy extraction industry. Nichols said declaring a financial crisis allows her to appoint a committee that will review all programs at the university this summer. "It kind of opens the door to allow you to really look at elimination of academic programs," she said.

Small colleges facing biggest challenges with enrollment - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

New studies show that 80% of U.S. colleges and universities enroll 5,000 students or less, with 40% of those schools enrolling 1,000 or less. Following a peak in enrollment in 2011, the number of college students has steadily declined over the last five years, reducing the pool of students from which schools can recruit. As student enrollment trends toward entry into schools within a 250-mile radius, geography plays a major role in recruiting strategy.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Continuing Education for Information Professionals - Deanna B. Marcum, EDUCAUSE Review

What information professionals need from continuing education programs in order to prepare for the next stage of their careers is changing rapidly as organizations and their parent institutions find themselves in the midst of transformation. Librarians and IT staff must quickly find minimally viable solutions and improve on them after users provide feedback, which is a far cry from the traditional best-professional-judgement approach to problem solving. By taking part in larger collaborative and networked initiatives, information professionals can do their jobs better, but they need new skills in how to operate effectively in the new environment.

LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Higher Ed - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

What might Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn mean for higher ed? It is clear that LinkedIn views higher education as a key vertical. This strategy became apparent with the $1.5 purchase of in 2015. So what might the Microsoft acquisition change about LinkedIn through a higher ed lens? Being owned by Microsoft should allow LinkedIn to focus on its core strengths - and to leave the technology back-end to Microsoft. There have been signs that LinkedIn wants to have bigger mindshare in the discussion about the future of higher education, but these signals have been weak and fleeting. LinkedIn is still viewed more as a utility - a digital rolodex - than a key building block of what comes next in higher education. One could imagine a much bigger role for LinkedIn as a competency based education (CBE) goes mainstream.

Relentless data tracking key to MTSU's success - Tara GarcĂ­a Mathewson, Education Dive

Middle Tennessee State University’s vice provost for student success brings an uncommon perspective to his job, but it is one that is increasingly recognized as having value. Rick Sluder joined the administrative team at MTSU after four years in enrollment management, where it was his job to track application and matriculation data obsessively. The first thing he did when he got to Middle Tennessee State was to set up a data system that would give the university the power to track performance and do so on a weekly basis. When he hears how other schools approach retention or completion initiatives — measuring progress once per year or less — he says he has to chuckle. “The places that are doing retention work the best are doing it the most,” Sluder said.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Federal panel recommends termination for ACICS and critical of American Bar Association - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools got closer to being terminated Thursday after the federal panel that oversees accrediting agencies voted to de-recognize the council, the largest national accreditor that oversees many for-profit colleges. The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) soon will pass its decision back to the U.S. Department of Education, which last week recommended shutting down ACICS and will have 90 days to decide the accreditor's fate. An appeal by the accreditor and lawsuits could follow. Once the decision is finalized, and if a court doesn't block it, the 245 colleges ACICS accredits, which enroll up to 800,000 students, would have 18 months to find a new accreditor. Most notably, the panel on Wednesday rebuked the American Bar Association, in part for its lack of attention to student achievement.

Cash Kao: China's tutors earn fortunes online - AFP, Bangkok Post

With a following of several million teenage fans, China's Liu Jie says he can earn nearly $50,000 a month from his online videos and is often recognised on the street. But he is no pop star. Chinese high school physics tutor Liu Jie gives an online lesson from a recording studio in Beijing. A high school physics tutor, Liu belongs to a growing cohort of educators feeding the country's insatiable demand for after school online study. The industry is fuelled by the vast number of Internet users in China -- the most in the world -- combined with the annual university entrance exam, a national obsession that decides the fate of millions.

90% students see online experience as good as face-to-face - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

The Online Learning Consortium says 5.8 million students are enrolled in online higher education courses, and 90% of these students say their academic experience is as good, or better than an in-person class. According to the data, students report greater levels of engagement with coursework, faculty and classmates with learning technology and support the use of adaptive analytics in helping to customize student learning experiences. Despite eight in 10 faculty members having little experience with online learning tools, data suggests 48% of learning materials will soon be digital.

College Algebra, Engineering Classes Get Healthy Dose of Games-Based Learning - TANYA ROSCORLA, Center for Digital Education

College professors say they rarely see their peers mixing games into classes, so a few outliers are developing their own games to help students understand complex subjects. In the first three years of elementary school, 65 percent of teachers use digital games to help students learn, according to the 2015 Speak Up report from the nonprofit Project Tomorrow. But by the time those students get to high school, just 31 percent of their teachers incorporate games into instruction. While the survey doesn't measure college game use, college professors say they rarely see their peers mixing games into classes. That said, a few outliers are developing their own games to help students understand complex subjects including algebra and engineering.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Survey Says, It's the Dawn of a New Era in Professional Learning - Lisa Schmucki, EdSurge

Ask school leaders what is needed to help teachers integrate technology into teaching and learning, and they’ll tell you that teachers need more professional learning and support. At a recent Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) conference, educational consultant and retired superintendent Gabe Soumakian summed it up concisely, “It’s not about the tech, it’s about the professional learning.” We’re at the dawn of a new era in professional learning, one brought on by the creation of social networking, content-sharing, and collaborative technology. Providing teachers—and all educators—with the professional learning they need is a daunting task. Online professional development may hold the key.