Saturday, October 22, 2016

MOOC-Based Credential Options Expand in Online Education - Jordan Friedman, US News

For students considering a credential – or even an affordable online degree – from a respectable university, a MOOC-based option might be the way to go. After piloting the concept at MIT this year, edX announced partnerships with 14 additional universities around the world last month for 19 new MicroMasters programs exploring in-demand fields ranging from artificial intelligence to entrepreneurship. Students earn a MicroMasters by completing the equivalent of a quarter's to a semester's worth of a master's degree, usually through four to five MOOCs and a capstone component, says Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX. They can then apply to finish the curriculum at the school in person and earn the graduate degree. Because the MicroMasters are "stackable" in nature, students can learn as much or little as they want, Agarwal says

UM’s Schlissel launches new initiative - Kim Kozlowski, The Detroit News

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel on Wednesday challenged faculty and staff to venture further into digital technology and innovation, hailing them as the university’s next frontier in educating traditional students and lifelong learners. Launching the Academic Innovation Initiative during the annual Leadership Breakfast, Schlissel harkened to UM’s legacy of leadership and encouraged university researchers, teachers and practitioners to evolve further with students, their studies and university partnerships and networks around the world. “Academic innovation is where creativity, comprehensive excellence and our aspirations for societal impact all come together at the University of Michigan,” Schlissel said.

Here's the best case that software is about to disrupt education - Timothy B. Lee, Vox

Marc Andreessen: Udacity is growing very fast and doing very well, and has locked in on this concept of nanodegrees.... The big new course they have teaches how to design and code and build a self-driving car. Think about that. In 2005, a self-driving car was a DARPA grand challenge. In 2010 it was 1,500 people at Google doing this dark science thing that nobody understood from the outside. Now you can literally sign up on Udacity and take an online course to learn how to build a self-driving car and go work for Google or Uber or Tesla or any of these other companies. I think it's pretty significant, number one that that's happening, in terms of how fast it’s happening. But it’s also significant that it’s happening on Udacity and not at Harvard, or for that matter your local community college. Udacity is a software company. It has software-scale economics. As they refine their model, their ability to scale is present in the model. They're not there yet, but they are scaling quite quickly now.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Leaders need to start planning now for artificial intelligence - Geoff Colvin, Fortune

Many CEOs tell me their greatest fear is being blindsided by a competitor they never even thought of as a competitor, threatening to make the CEO’s business irrelevant by using technology and a business model the CEO hadn’t imagined. That’s why I urge you to read Roger Parloff’s new cover story on deep learning, how it’s changing our lives, and how, as he says, it “will soon transform corporate America,” and business globally for that matter. We’ve all been reading a lot about artificial intelligence (AI), but we now must understand finer distinctions. Within AI is a set of techniques called machine learning, enabling computers to get better at tasks with practice. And within machine learning is deep learning, involving algorithms by which computers train themselves using multi-layered neural networks and vast quantities of data. If you don’t really understand that, you’d better read the article.

Taking online courses: the pajama advantage - Kelsie Clifton, Mesa Journal

The truth is that some students just work better learning it by themselves and in their own environment. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like to do things hands on but the idea of sitting in a classroom for a long amount of times gives me anxiety, bad. I want to be able to do my assigned reading, listen to the lecture, do the work, turn it in, and go on about my life. Whatever that may be. Over the time of me being an online student here at UTPB I have noticed some great advantages that I love.

The Ivy Leagues’ Humbling: Richest Endowments in Decline - JIM SCHAFFER, Bloomberg

Endowment investing drives major universities. Endowment income accounts for more than 30 percent of total operations at some institutions, supporting everything from financial aid to research. Management teams and boards establish governance and management structures to strive for positive returns. No investment approach constitutes an industry best practice. A clean audit opinion does not say anything about an institution’s success at risk mitigation. Positive performance calls for complex diversification strategies. When it works, students enjoy new amenities and alumni and other donors are proud. When it doesn’t work, misery abounds.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Top Officials Call for More Education and Jobs to Counter Cyberthreats - TAMARA DIETRICH, Newport News Daily Press

Last December, bad guys using stolen usernames and passwords managed to take over the control systems of three power distribution companies. Company employees watched helplessly as the cyberattackers took over their control panels and, in a matter of minutes, shut down power to some 225,000 customers. Ron Ross of the National Institute of Standards and Technology said, "This is the nature of cyber today. Cyber operates below the radar. And you don't have to defeat a superpower with cruise missiles or classic kinetic things, anymore. You can defeat a superpower by attacking through cyber." And it's a target-rich environment, Ross said. Today, about 6 billion devices from smartphones to tablets to cars to children's toys are on the so-called internet of things. And every day, several million more are added. The summit to address cyberthreats is the first of its kind in the state, drawing registrants from all levels of government, academia, industry, the military, research and other areas.

Is Quantum Cryptography the Future of Cybersecurity? - Meghan Brown,

A new massive open online course (MOOC) being offered by CalTech and Delft University aims to help engineers, scientists and cybersecurity researchers prepare for the future of quantum computing, and its associated security needs with a course on Quantum Cryptography. The MOOC will focus on the ways in which the principles of quantum mechanics can be harnessed to create secure lines of communication. Students will learn how to take advantage of quantum effects such as entanglement and uncertainty to create and apply cryptographic tasks that can provide levels of security beyond the reach of classical cryptography. This type of digital security will become even more necessary as the digitization of our products, our services and our data continues to increase in complexity, and as quantum computing becomes more of a reality.

4 awesome programming courses you can take online now - FIONA MACDONALD, Science Alert

We all know that knowing how to code is a crucial skill for pretty much anyone wanting to impress the job market or start their own business in 2016. But it can be hard - not to mention expensive - to find the time to learn the latest programming languages if you're also studying or working full-time. But don't worry, we've partnered with StackCommerce to bring you four of their top-rated online programming and coding courses via our new ScienceAlert Academy. And the best part is you can take them all right now from the comfort of your couch - without spending more than US$50 per course.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The term 'nontraditional student' is extinct - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics outlines the growth of nontraditional learners on college campuses nationwide, eCampus News reports. According to the data, about 74% of all undergraduates enrolled during the 2011-12 academic year possessed at least one characteristic of a nontraditional student, denoted by part-time enrollment, working full-time, identifying as a single caregiver, not having a traditional high school diploma, or financial independence. Nontraditional students are statistically the most likely to enroll in at least one online course.

Technology is key if universities want to perform well in world university rankings - Paul Feldman, Times Higher Education

Nobody would disagree that digital technology has revolutionised the world we live and learn in. The days of bulky textbooks, overhead projectors and paper handouts have all but gone. Universities have adapted and evolved to meet the needs of their students and staff. We are now at a point where entering students consider connecting via video to be as meaningful as being in the same room. In June, Jisc, the UK higher education technology charity, released the findings of the first in-depth survey into students’ expectations and experiences of their digital environment. The results showed us that 70 per cent of higher education respondents believe that when technology is used effectively by teaching staff it enhances their learning experience. A truly successful global university must have technologically literate staff and students at its core.

The best online study tools: students give their verdict - Peter McGuire, Irish Times

Online supports are revolutionising learning and they may even be making learning more enjoyable. Students are taking control of their own learning. Where once it was all school, homework and grinds, the online world has revolutionised learning. In recent years, Leaving and Junior Cert pupils are taking to Khan Academy,,, the Eir Study Hub and more to complement what they learn in class. And – whisper it – some of these websites, they say, are making learning more enjoyable. But what are the best resources out there and how are they assisting with teaching, learning and revising? We asked the most independent and authoritative critics of all: students.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Creating a Digitally Enabled University - David Raths, Campus Technology

Georgia State's chief innovation officer is tackling the flipped classroom, learning analytics, digital literacy and more. Phil Ventimiglia, who became Georgia State University's chief innovation officer two years ago, said that before he took the job he carefully evaluated the university's readiness to create such a role. "We want to make sure we are focused on the outcomes, not the inputs," he said. "Sometimes there has been a focus on devices —let's put devices in student hands.... We are changing the process to think like a startup and do a series of experiments and prove out the model and then scale it up." The university has launched a staff innovator program, which includes a self-paced online program for staff and faculty to learn the process of ideation and marketing new ideas. That is being connected to a daylong innovation competition, where winners will receive resources to develop those ideas.

China’s online vocational learning set for rapid growth in what analysts label ‘megatrend’ - Celia Chen, South China Post

China’s online vocational education industry is about to blossom into a major new consumer sector, thanks to changes wrought by mobile internet, as well as consumer enthusiasm for the new medium, according to a report by Citic Securities. Citic Securities analysts led by Guo Yi said the market for online vocational learning is currently worth about 150 billion yuan, but will balloon to around 585 billion yuan by 2020. “Online education represents a megatrend as the internet and mobile internet infrastructures develop and the user habits change,” Guo said. Among factors fuelling the rapid growth, mainland Chinese are finding online learning can help broaden their employability at a time of increasing competition in the job market

Newest NMC/CoSN Horizon K-12 Report Emphasizes Kids as Creators - Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Over the next year K-12 will be placing more emphasis on coding as a form of literacy and on students as creators. Schools that don't already have makerspaces will want to get them and online learning will start to look like something that's typical rather than out of the norm. Those are the "short-term" trends and technologies that surfaced in the 2016 K-12 Edition of the NMC/CoSN Horizon Report. The move to spur students as creators is an attempt to shift the gaze of students away from display screens as consumers and help them become creators. As the report noted, "Many educators believe that honing these kinds of creative skills in learners can lead to deeply engaging learning experiences in which students become the authorities on subjects through investigation, storytelling and production."

Monday, October 17, 2016

Online Tutoring Market Expected to Grow 6.15% Over Next Four Years - Richard Chang, THE Journal

The online tutoring services market in the United States is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.15 percent between 2016 and 2020, according to a recent report by market research firm Technavio.Some of the factors that help explain the anticipated growth are: The advent of technology has expanded the market by allowing numerous types of tutors to reach out to a wider student base; Advancements in information and communications technology have led to the emergence of virtual classrooms worldwide; And the rise of virtual classrooms has led to an increase of private, online tutoring service providers as well.

Amazon Launches $2.5 Million AI Contest for College Students - Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

A new contest from Amazon aims to accelerate the field of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) and make its Alexa voice assistant even more chatty. The inaugural Alexa Prize contest challenges university and college students around the world to develop a “socialbot” that can that can hold a conversation with a human for 20 minutes. Students will use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build their socialbots. They will advance several areas of conversational AI, including “knowledge of acquisition, natural language understanding, natural language generation, context modeling, commonsense reasoning and dialog planning,” according to the Amazon announcement.$2.5-million-ai-contest-for-college-students.aspx

Annual list identifies educators pioneering, supporting the flipped learning movement - eSchool News

Educators searching for flipped learning inspiration can now find it in a list of 100 people who are innovating and inspiring others in their pursuit of flipped instruction. The Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI), a worldwide coalition of educators, researchers, technologists, professional development providers and education leaders, published the FLGI 100, an annual list identifying the top 100 innovative people in education who are driving the adoption of the flipped classroom around the world. “The FLGI 100 list includes some of the most experienced and innovative flipped learning people on the planet,” Bergmann said. “The value of their collective insight into flipped learning is immeasurable and we’re excited to identify them as role models for those new to flipped learning.” The FLGI list will be updated annually and the complete FLGI 100 list can be seen at

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Is it time to rethink the term nontraditional student? - MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

NCES data shows that institutions have been scrambling to accommodate massive numbers of nontraditional students. Should higher education rethink what makes a “traditional” student today? Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on students applying for financial aid highlight the ever-increasing need for colleges and universities to diversify their programs and make more available online education. The data, culled from the most recent student financial aid information (2011-12), and discussed in the NCES brief, “Demographic and Enrollment Characteristics of Nontraditional Undergraduates,” examines prevailing characteristics in enrolling students, and argues that knowledge of these characteristics should further urge institutions to diversify their services.

Rutgers launches open textbook project - Laura Devaney, eCampus News

A new open textbook project from Rutgers University includes a grant program administered by Rutgers University Libraries that will give incentives to faculty or department groups that replace traditional textbooks with free, low-cost or open alternatives. The Open and Affordable Textbook Project (OAT) has the potential to save students across the university as much as $500,000 within its first year. At least one Rutgers course is proactively moving in this direction, business librarian Mei Ling Lo said. “Students taking the course Aggregate Economics are using our e-books this semester and the savings are substantial,” Lo said.

Ranking identifies the 50 best online colleges for quality and affordability in 2016-2017 - eCampus News

Analysis shows best online schools based on costs, quality and flexibility., a site for higher education information and resources, has released its ranking of the Best Online Colleges for 2016. The site analyzed more than a dozen unique data points to identify the colleges and universities providing students with the highest quality and most affordable online learning options today. “We wanted to highlight the schools that offer the best combination of degree program cost, quality, and flexibility,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of “These schools continue to adopt and scale innovative learning methods to help students realize academic success.” To qualify for the list, colleges must have regional accreditation and hold public or private not-for-profit standing. Schools earning a spot on the ranking also had at least ten online degree programs and an annual in-state tuition under $25,000. To see the full ranking of Best Online Colleges and the methodology used to rank them, please visit the following page: