Online learning update by Ray Schroeder

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Online Learning News and Research ~ Ray Schroeder, editor ~ University of Illinois at Springfield
Updated: 1 hour 41 min ago

Boosting Degree Completion With Blockchain

Tue, 2019-07-23 02:05

Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Arizona State is rethinking how this student data might be exchanged. In partnership with Salesforce, the university’s central enterprise unit, EdPlus, is creating a student data network that will enable participating institutions to share and verify students’ academic records using a distributed ledger technology such as blockchain. Donna Kidwell, chief technology officer at EdPlus, said that reverse transfer is just one area where the institution hopes to make its network of verifiable and secure credentials useful. The technology could, for example, be used to help global institutions and employers verify the academic qualifications of refugees.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/07/09/arizona-state-tackling-college-completion-blockchain

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At 63, Bill Gates says he now asks himself these 3 questions that he wouldn’t have in his 20s

Tue, 2019-07-23 02:02

Marcel Schwantes, CNBC

Gates also noted how different his assessment looks today, at age 63, than it did in his 20s. “Back then, an end-of-year assessment would amount to just one question: Is Microsoft software making the personal-computing dream come true?” he wrote. Of course, Gates still assesses the quality of his work, but he also asks himself a whole set of other questions about his life. “These would have been laughable to me when I was 25, but as I get older, they are much more meaningful.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/06/bill-gates-measures-his-quality-of-life-by-asking-himself-3-questions.html

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Cuts in state funding to public colleges may be to blame for a decline in bachelor’s degrees

Mon, 2019-07-22 02:05

By Jillian Berman, Market Watch

“Money matters,” said Sarah Turner, an economics and education professor at the University of Virginia and one of the authors of the paper. “The declines in state appropriations have had real effects in terms of degree output, enrollment and there’s at least suggestive evidence that there’s some impact on research outputs.” A decline in state funding to public colleges is also associated with a drop in the number of people earning the types of credentials at public research universities necessary for the types of scientific innovation that boosts the economy, the research found. A 10% drop in state funding is correlated with a 5% drop in master’s degrees in science, engineering, technology and math (or STEM) and a 10.2% drop in Ph.Ds in those fields.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cuts-in-state-funding-to-public-colleges-may-be-to-blame-for-a-decline-in-bachelors-degrees-2019-06-18

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AI can simulate quantum systems without massive computing power

Mon, 2019-07-22 02:02

Jon Fingas, Engadget

It’s difficult to simulate quantum physics, as the computing demand grows exponentially the more complex the quantum system gets — even a supercomputer might not be enough. AI might come to the rescue, though. Researchers have developed a computational method that uses neural networks to simulate quantum systems of “considerable” size, no matter what the geometry. To put it relatively simply, the team combines familiar methods of studying quantum systems (such as Monte Carlo random sampling) with a neural network that can simultaneously represent many quantum states.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/07/05/ai-simulates-quantum-systems/

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Criticism Over IT Outsourcing Decision

Mon, 2019-07-22 02:02

Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

For three days in June 2017, Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich., experienced a complete network shutdown. Wishing to prevent any future outages, Rose B. Bellanca, Washtenaw’s president, commissioned a comprehensive review of the college’s entire IT infrastructure and staffing.  The college’s proposal, presented to the Board of Trustees on May 21, is to contract with higher education software and IT service provider Ellucian to provide technology management services, including on-site support staff at the college. Under the proposal, which was passed in a 5-to-2 vote by the board June 25, Ellucian will be responsible for all current and future technology needs of the college. ?

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/07/08/washtenaw-community-college-outsources-its-it-staff

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What is personalized learning and why is it so controversial? 5 questions answered

Sun, 2019-07-21 02:10

Penny Bishop, the Conversation

The term “personalized learning” is becoming more common. Indeed, 39 states mention personalized learning in their school improvement plans, as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act. Not only are states legislating personalized learning, but philanthropists are funding it and, in some cases, families are pushing back against it. Penny Bishop, a researcher who focuses on learning environments, answers five questions about personalized learning.

https://theconversation.com/what-is-personalized-learning-and-why-is-it-so-controversial-5-questions-answered-118030

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Udacity’s AI generates lecture videos from audio narration

Sun, 2019-07-21 02:04

KYLE WIGGERS, Venture Beat

Professional-level lecture clips require not only a veritable studio’s worth of equipment, but significant resources to transfer, edit, and upload footage of each lesson. That’s why research scientists at Udacity, an online learning platform with over 100,000 courses, are investigating a machine learning framework that automatically generates lecture videos from audio narration alone. They claim in a preprint paper (“LumièreNet: Lecture Video Synthesis from Audio“) on Arxiv.org that their AI system — LumièreNet — can synthesize footage of any length by directly mapping between audio and corresponding visuals.

https://venturebeat.com/2019/07/05/udacitys-ai-generates-lecture-videos-from-audio-narrations/

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MITx Prepares 30 New MOOCs and Builds with Other Universities a Blockchain System for Credentials

Sun, 2019-07-21 02:03

IBL News

MITx has become, along with Harvard University and Microsoft, the most prolific course creator on edX.org, with 111 MOOCs shared in the past year, and 26 of them being run for the first time. “We have about 30 more in the pipeline.  Another remarkable initiative where MIT collaborates with eight other top research universities is related to the design of a digital, distributed infrastructure for issuing, storing and displaying verifiable credentials and certificates of academic achievement.

https://iblnews.org/mitx-prepares-30-new-moocs-and-build-with-other-universities-a-blockchain-system-for-credentials/

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The Next Evolutionary Step in MOOCs Will Be ‘Blockstore’, Says Robert Lue, from Harvard

Sat, 2019-07-20 02:10

Henry Kronk, IBL News

Professor Robert Lue, the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, was involved in the creation of edX. He now believes that, for the full potential of MOOCs and open educational resources (OER) to be realized, the reign of the ‘course’ in open education needs to come to an end. The next step, he believes, will be the Blockstore.

https://iblnews.org/it-takes-a-network-to-teach-a-learner-robert-lue-believes-blockstore-will-bring-about-the-next-step-for-open-edx/

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U.S., U.K. and Canadian residents call for a unified skills strategy for the AI age

Sat, 2019-07-20 02:06

Northeastern University and Gallup

We asked 10,000 people in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada what they thought about the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. We wanted to know what they believe it takes to be prepared, what type of education is needed, who should provide it and who should pay for it. And do they believe higher education,
business and government are up to the task to solve the skills crisis?

https://www.northeastern.edu/gallup/

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13 Signs of High Emotional Intelligence: Are these forgotten when we consider needed workforce skills?

Sat, 2019-07-20 02:02

By Justin Bariso, Inc

In 1995, psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman published a book introducing most of the world to the nascent concept of emotional intelligence. The idea–that an ability to understand and manage emotions greatly increases our chances of success–quickly took off, and it went on to greatly influence the way people think about emotions and human behavior.

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/13-things-emotionally-intelligent-people-do.html

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The push for explainable AI

Fri, 2019-07-19 02:10

 

BY DEREK B. JOHNSONJUL, GNC

While organizations are ultimately legally responsible for the ways their products, including algorithms, behave, many encounter what is known as the “black box” problem: situations where the decisions made by a machine learning algorithm become more opaque to human managers over time as it takes in more data and makes increasingly complex inferences. The challenge has led experts to champion “explainability” as a key factor for regulators to assess the ethical and legal use of algorithms, essentially being able to demonstrate that an organization has insight into what information its algorithm is using to arrive at the conclusions it spits out. The Algorithmic Accountability Act would give the Federal Trade Commission two years to develop regulations requiring large companies to conduct automated decision system impact assessments of their algorithms and treat discrimination resulting from those decisions as “unfair or deceptive acts and practices,” opening those firms up to civil lawsuits.

https://gcn.com/articles/2019/07/03/explainable-ai.aspx

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How AI can strengthen and defend democracy

Fri, 2019-07-19 02:05

KHARI JOHNSON, Venture Beat

Democratic societies the world over have come under attack in this digital era — and in ways many probably never thought possible in their lifetime. In an interview with VentureBeat earlier this year, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott said that any informed citizen in the 21st century must have some understanding of artificial intelligence in order to participate in debates, because “You don’t want to be someone to whom AI is sort of this thing that happens to you.” If you believe any part of assertion, or recent call for education initiatives by EU AI experts then public education initiatives to teach more people about AI may in fact be an act that strengthens democracy. The Finnish government for example committed to educating 1% of its population on the basics of AI.

https://venturebeat.com/2019/07/04/how-ai-can-strengthen-and-defend-democracy/

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How to successfully promote a Learning Management System (LMS) within your organisation

Fri, 2019-07-19 02:02

By Rebecca Sentance, eConsultancy

If you’ve yet to invest in a Learning Management System, or know which one you’re getting but have yet to get it up and running, don’t wait until it’s already set up to tell people about it. You should start internal messaging about your LMS, its benefits and how to use it ahead of time – several months beforehand if possible. Continue to promote the LMS regularly up until its launch date, and beyond – the points below will give you some ideas about internal messaging you can run, and tactics you can use to get people interested and inform them about the new system. Even if you’ve already got your LMS installed, these ideas can be used to give it a new lease of life.

https://econsultancy.com/how-to-successfully-promote-learning-management-system-lms/

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4 Models To Reinvent Higher Education for the 21st Century

Thu, 2019-07-18 02:06

Eli Zimmerman, EdTech

To appeal to Gen Z students and employers, universities will adopt new ways to deliver academic materials, focusing on customizable courses and experiences outside of the classroom. A recent report from Education Design Lab outlines four models for universities and colleges to stay relevant in an education world that continues to move online. Five years in the making, the report details each of the models of innovation: the platform facilitator, experiential curator, learning certifier and workforce. University officials can take a quiz to see which model best fits their campuses to create an innovative culture that fits the changing demands of higher education.

https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/07/4-models-reinvent-higher-education-21st-century

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UAS braces for budget cuts, distance learning at risk

Thu, 2019-07-18 02:05

Nina Sparling, KCAW

Every campus in the University of Alaska system uses the same learning management system to host online classes, supported through statewide funding. If the veto goes through, campuses across Alaska will have to figure out how to fund distance learning curriculum themselves. In Sitka, anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of students are distance learners.

https://www.kcaw.org/2019/07/03/uas-braces-for-budget-cuts-distance-learning-at-risk/

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Supplementing Continuing Education Courses With Insightful Conversations

Thu, 2019-07-18 02:03

By Liz Dominguez, RIS Media

Neubauer says the podcast is also a great accessory to online courses, which are typically missing the interaction and the anecdotes of the concrete classroom. “Having an hour conversation allows us to go into detail and offer great tools that agents can apply immediately,” says Neubauer. “And with the conversational style with different guests, it makes it entertaining as well as informative.”

https://rismedia.com/2019/07/02/continuing-education-courses/

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The first online class I taught included both a homeless student and an Olympic athlete

Wed, 2019-07-17 02:09

by SHERI MCKEEVER, Hechinger Report

In my first class, I had a homeless student from St. Paul and another who was training for the Olympics in the Duluth area. Both were concerned about their education and wanted to succeed. They had unique circumstances, yet they shared many common challenges — internet access, enough time to complete assignments, anxiety about failure. The entire class shared their stories, and their worries, with one another and reinforced each student’s strengths and perseverance. We worked hard as a class to find common ground and cultivate our strengths. Technology has enabled me to connect with my students in ways I never had when I taught in a traditional classroom.

https://hechingerreport.org/teacher-voice-diversity-and-online-learning/

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Delivering education through text messages: a more effective way to teach

Wed, 2019-07-17 02:08

MICHAEL IOFFE, Newsweek

As a teaching medium, I came across studies from Stanford and Penn State that showed texts are amongst the most effective ways to learn and retain information. If you’re wondering why, it’s because texts meet users where they’re at (on their phones) and break down concepts into bite-size chunks. To test the idea, I worked with a few friends and professors at Babson to develop the first text message course, which focused on entrepreneurship, and then ran a study with over two hundred students. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority of students liking text message learning more than any other form of digital learning. You might be wondering how a “text message course” actually works. Every morning, students were texted about two screen-lengths worth of content (around 1,000 characters) explaining a certain concept or case study in depth, typically ending with an assessment. (You can try out a course here: lrn.st/trial).

https://www.newsweek.com/delivering-education-through-text-messages-more-effective-way-teach-opinion-1447227

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Workers want L&D-focused work, but employers aren’t delivering, survey says

Wed, 2019-07-17 02:02

By Riia O’Donnell & Katie Clarey; HR Dive
U.S. workers hunger for learning opportunities because employers aren’t providing enough of them, according to a report by City & Guilds Group. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they want a bigger focus on L&D in their workplaces. Only 46% said their employers have provided on-the-job training in the past year, and only 52% said it’s easy to access L&D at their jobs. The majority of employees (82%) said they feel “fairly well equipped” to do their current jobs, but 63% want a heavier focus on training. Many American workers aren’t waiting on their employers to upskill them. A majority of workers, 62%, have invested personal time in training during the past year, with 30% paying for training out of pocket.

https://www.hrdive.com/news/workers-want-ld-focused-work-but-employers-arent-delivering-survey-says/557926/

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