Sunday, February 1, 2015

4 social trends affecting the dynamics of learning in the workplace - Avi Singer, Mashable

Smartphones are like security blankets, with 65% of digital natives reporting that they carry their devices from room to room with them. We feel safer knowing we have access at our fingertips to any information or people we need. We don’t need to know it all; our phone does. In a Pew Research social networking study, 72% of adults online reported that they use social media. In fact, use of all social platforms has dramatically increased since 2012. Technology has not only changed how we consume information, it’s also defining how we learn. Companies will need to rethink how their employees are taught new skills in light of the ideals of the changing workforce. Here are a few trends transforming learning in the workplace.

Tracking students' digital footprint at Ball State - Corey Ohlenkamp, Star Press

Are students skipping class? The university knows. Are students having mid-term deficiencies? The university knows. Are students involved in clubs or attending sporting events? The university knows that, too. Each of those things, and many more, are tracked digitally and become sets of data. Because of that, a student's digital footprint can be the fastest tool in Ball State's arsenal when it comes to helping students achieve success and, ultimately, a diploma.

Study Habits: New App Helps Students Get Organized and Motivated - Ann Elliott, Edudemic

After testing the app for a month with two classes of students, I can endorse Study Habits as the best student productivity app for iOS. Compared to its competitors, Study Habits provides the richest array of features and augments its planning capabilities with proven study aids. The app enables students to manage their time, monitor their GPAs, and adopt effective study habits. Thanks to its educational-psychology-based learning and motivation strategies, Study Habits is unparalleled in the productivity app market. Read on to find out what Study Habits can do and why no other student planning app compares.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Study Reveals that Adding Frequent Tests to Online Learning Improves Retention - Karl M. Kapp, ASTD/ATD

Ever wonder how to improve attention within an online lecture and how to improve an online learner’s ability to learn? One method might be to quiz them frequently. Researchers have found that by interspersing online lectures with short tests, student mind-wandering decreased by half, note-taking tripled, and overall retention of the material improved. As the researchers pointed out, without the quizzing conditions, student’s minds wandered while participating in an online course. "In our experiments, when we asked students if they were mind-wandering, they said yes roughly 40 percent of the time. It's a significant problem."

Meet Pecha Kucha, the Japanese presentations changing everything about PowerPoint - Ivy Nelson, eSchool News

As I prepare for my presentation this week at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) on “Presenting with Pecha Kucha,” my colleagues have repeatedly asked me, “What is Pecha Kucha?” The short answer is it’s a great presentation style that gets students thinking and learning, not reading slides. A longer one might be to explain that the term comes from the Japanese words for “chit chat,” so as you might guess this unique presentational style embraces a more conversational tone. But more importantly, it is transforming presentations as we know them.

edX: Programming language Scratch isn’t just for kids anymore - Barb Darrow, GigaOm

Scratch is a programming language built to help children learn basic programming skills. But now edX, the MOOC (for Massive Open Online Course) backed by top colleges including MIT, Harvard and Caltech, will offer a free Scratch course for anyone “regardless of age or digital skill.” Registration is open now for Programming in Scratch” which kicks off February 2. The course will be taught by Colleen Lewis, professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College, a tech powerhouse and another edX partner school.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Open Learning Initiative Reaches Penn Alumni Online and Around the Globe - Jill DiSanto, UPenn

For the first time last fall, the University of Pennsylvania invited Quakers from around the globe to participate in an alumni-exclusive version of a massive open online course. From Oct. 6 to Nov. 2, Penn offered a modified, four-week, intensive version of “History of the Slave South” taught by Stephanie McCurry of the history department in Penn Arts & Sciences. McCurry’s course is a popular choice among Penn undergraduates, and the 10-week course offered online through Penn’s Open Learning Initiative has attracted thousands of people of varied backgrounds worldwide. So it was a natural choice for an exclusive version for alumni. Almost 700 alumni ranging from the Class of 1940 to the Class of 2014 and from 15 countries signed up.

Higher ed jobs changing with technology, students - Joan Axelrod-Contrada, Boston Globe

Over the next 10 years, jobs for college and university administrators are expected to grow 15 percent nationally compared with 11 percent for all jobs, according to the US Labor Department. The median pay is about $86,000 a year. The growth in higher education employment. A 2013 survey found that 7.1 million students — about one-third of all students — took at least one online course, up from 6.7 million in 2012. College and university officials say many skills from other industries are transferable to higher education, although they might have to be bolstered with a degree or certificate.

EdX CEO Lays Out Disruptive Vision For Higher Ed - WBUR Here and Now

Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, says “I talk about unbundling in time, function and content. Let’s take unbundling in content. Why should it be the case that a professor who teaches a course writes a textbook, teaches a course, writes the exams, the whole thing. Instead, a blended course is an unbundled course, where you might use a MOOC from a professor from another university as a new age textbook. That would be unbundling of content. So we do some of that. Why can’t we increase that? Today, why is it that every student has to learn in college when they are 18? Why four years? How about unbundling time? .... So a continuous education system like this could solve many problems. It will allow people to get just-in-time education on topics that are on the cutting edge of technology and learn as they need to learn; they may be better able to pay later.”

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Carnegie Foundation Study Recommends Sticking With Credit Hour - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The credit hour is an inadequate unit for measuring student learning. Yet no better replacement for higher education’s gold standard has emerged, and getting rid of it right now would be risky. That’s the central theme of a high-profile report from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Amy Laitinen, the deputy director for higher education at New America, a liberal thinktank, wrote an influential 2012 report that said the credit hour is to blame for several of higher education’s root problems. She wrote that it contributes to colleges rejecting transfer credits, for example, which wastes students’ time and money. Laitinen, who was on the study’s advisory committee, said the report does a good job of describing challenges around reliance on the credit hour. But she would have liked to see Carnegie use its clout to call for different learning standards. “It’s an excellent diagnosis of the problem without any prescription for change,” she said.

UW System predicts layoffs, no campus closings under budget cuts - Patrick Marley and Karen Herzog, the Journal Sentine.

Gov. Scott Walker's plan to cut the University of Wisconsin System by $300 million over two years would likely lead to layoffs, but closing campuses is not on the table at this time, top school officials said Tuesday. Declaring the university system needs to get out from "under the thumb" of state government, Walker said he wants to give the Board of Regents more authority to contract for services and construct buildings without following state rules and processes that other state agencies must. His plan, if approved by the Legislature, would be coupled with a reduction in state aid of nearly 13%. He likened the proposal to the budget cuts that were paired with Act 10, the 2011 law that all but eliminated collective bargaining for most public workers.

MOOCs and meetups together make for better learning - Michael E. Goldberg, the Conversation

More than 60 groups in 52 cities have formed to take MOOCs on Meetup, the world’s largest network of local groups. Coursera, the largest provider of MOOCs, has a Learning Hubs Initiative, which establishes physical spaces for students to access their classes. Coursera reports that their Learning Hubs participants show higher completion rates ranging from 30 - 100% vs. the 6.8% Coursera-wide average. Researchers at the Computer-Human Interaction in Learning and Instruction Lab (CHILI), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland reported in a June 2014 study that “watching MOOCs in groups provides (a) highly satisfying learning experience as learners feel connected and interactions among them are enabled.” As the BBC’s Sean Coughlin wrote in his April 2014 article about the expansion of MOOC meet-ups around the world, “even virtual students want to have a cup of coffee and a conversation after a lecture.”

Cybrary’s Free Online Training Reshaping Cybersecurity Education - Amanda Vicinanzo, Homeland Security Today

A shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the public and private sectors has left the US vulnerable to major cyberattacks. In response, Cybrary, the world’s first and only free massive open online course for IT and cybersecurity professionals, announced the availability of free classes to the general public. “We have the firm belief that IT and cybersecurity training should be free,” Ryan Corey, co-founder of Cybrary, told Homeland Security Today. Th Cybrary is designed to provide comprehensive IT and cybersecurity training options for a range of users. With classes ranging from entry level to very advanced, Cybrary has attracted interest from people just breaking into the field as well as seasoned cyber professionals.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Online Learning Revolution Brings Business To Emerging Markets - Seb Murray, Business Because

“One of the biggest transformations in education came about as a result of the ubiquity of [the] internet in our lives,” says Sanjay Sarma, director of online learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Business schools have adopted the online delivery method, with a host of their programs being flipped online and Moocs being launched. Many of these courses are populated in part by educated and employed users seeking part-time study, but providers have sought to expand learning and bring educational to all. The web has enabled underrepresented groups around the world such as women, youth, the disabled and citizens in rural communities to gain quality education.

Internet college: Some students never set foot on campus - SCOTT WUERZ, Belleville News Democrat

Local universities and colleges are increasingly embracing the trend of schools offering more Internet-based courses. Students, in many cases, can now go to school from start to finish and never set foot on campus – unless they choose to walk in graduation ceremonies. McKendree University senior Kyle Green, 30, lives in Joliet. He’s never laid eyes upon McKendree’s campus in Lebanon. But he expects to graduate from the school at the end of the spring semester. “It doubled my speed in finishing school,” Green said. “I’m planning to make my first trip to McKendree in May when I graduate.”

Why online learning needs to get serious about apps - Ryan Craig, Venture Beat

Smartphone users’ sessions are currently 3x longer when they’re using apps vs. browsing websites. Apps are also visited much more frequently than websites. Total time spent on apps is currently growing at an annual rate of over 20 percent, and according to comScore, for smartphone users, apps now account for over 50 percent of total time spent with digital media. 18-24-year-olds are the heaviest app users. Apps are purpose-built. So it’s not a stretch to imagine one app for Economics 101 and another for Psychology 110. Apps are ideal for simulations and gamified learning experiences. They’re also perfect for incorporating real-world inputs (such as location of the student) into learning.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Badges: A New Measure of Professional Development - Michael Hart, Campus Technology

Some higher ed institutions are experimenting with digital badges as a way to encourage and document learning among faculty and staff. Badges are quickly becoming acceptable currency in the world of higher education. Purdue University, for example, known for developing and commercializing innovative applications such as Course Signals, has embraced badges with another Purdue Studio project: Passport, a system for creating, issuing and sharing digital badges for learning and assessment. Badges have also found a home with massive open online courses, enabling students to earn credentials for specific work even when they do not complete the entire course.

21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons - Beth Holland, Edutopia

Printed books still play a critical role in supporting learners, but digital technologies offer additional pathways to learning and content acquisition. Students and teachers no longer need a library simply for access. Instead, they require a place that encourages participatory learning and allows for co-construction of understanding from a variety of sources. In other words, instead of being an archive, libraries are becoming a learning commons.

Video Boot Camp - Bill Selak, Edutopia

The rapid adoption of devices in the classroom has fundamentally changed the way we can create video. Every part of the creation process -- writing, recording, editing, and distributing -- is possible on the devices that can fit in our pocket. Vision is the most dominant of the five senses. Research shows that concepts are better remembered if they are taught visually. This is called the pictorial superiority effect, and it’s why video is such a powerful learning tool. Curating content is another significant way to incorporate video into your classroom. If you don’t have the time or software to make a fancy video, odds are someone has already made it and shared it on YouTube. This Film Festival is equal parts curation and creation.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Inside Higher Ed founder regrets lack of transparency in sale - Roger Riddell, Education Dive

A top editor of Inside Higher Ed said Friday that, in hindsight, he wished there had been more transparency about the sale of the publication's controlling interest to a private equity firm that has invested heavily in for-profit education. “We were founded without any support, then we had one set of investors and we had never said anything about them," Scott Jaschik, an Inside Higher Ed founder and editor, told Education Dive. "In hindsight, I wish we had, because clearly this is of interest to people." A controlling interest of the trade publication was acquired in November by Quad Partners, a New York private equity firm with investments in a number of for-profit higher education enterprises. However, the sale wasn't publicly disclosed until the Huffington Post reported on it earlier this month.

5 ed-tech highlights from CES 2015 - Phillip Britt, eCampus News

From extremes like robot teachers to soon-to-be ubiquitous technologies like wearable devices, CES 2015 did not disappoint. The annual International Consumer Electronics Show is the showcase for newer technologies already in the marketplace and those soon to debut. “What is popular in the consumer market is becoming more of the backbone of education, because that’d what students bring in,” said Kerry Goldstein, producer of TransformingEDU, the show’s education track. “There’s no place better than CES to look at what is going on with technology.”