5 tips to help students feel connected on campus

Students who report a strong sense of belonging at their college or university typically do better in school, and a new survey points to five key steps schools can take to support students’ mental health and success.

This sense of belonging is critical for students, especially students who are first-generation college students and students of color from low-income backgrounds. In fact, feeling a sense of belonging has been proven to have an effect on college completion rates.

A report based on a survey of alumni from the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), which aims to prepare its K-12 students to thrive in education and the workforce, points to clear-cut steps institutions can take to help students feel positive about their path.


Workers are preparing for automation–here’s how

Automation will have a transformational impact on the workforce–and today’s workers are seeking skills and credentials to keep pace with those changes, according to a new survey.

The Working Learners Index from Bright Horizons surveyed more than 30,000 workers who are already learning on the job offers a glimpse into the motivating factors behind workers’ decision to gain additional education and credentials to increase their skillset and employability. 

Related content: Efforts to upskill workers increase

Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed say they believe automation will transform their jobs and change their industries–a finding that underscores the importance of “upskilling,” or teaching workers additional skills to keep their abilities on par with the requirements of a new and evolving workforce.


5 tools to create an engaging online course

So many faculty have approached me lately and said that they have been asked to teach a hybrid or online course. I love teaching—online, hybrid, in person—and I find that actually I use many of the same tools for each. Here is my list of go-to edtech tools, which are especially useful in the online/hybrid environment.

Remember: It’s all about engagement. If you just dump a ton of information into your course management site and don’t have a way for your students to interact with you, you’re wasting your hard work and their time. Our students will engage online if they feel that there is a real live person responding to them—whether that’s you or another student in the class. No matter who, it’s the connection that counts.

The best edtech tools for an online course

1. Screencast-O-Matic

It’s free, it’s easy, and you should use it all the time. There are other easy video sites but to me this is the one that gets the job done. I use it from day one. I do a short video (and I mean seriously short because I hate being on video) introducing myself as a professor and a person. They love it and their first assignment is to do the same.


XR technologies are proving effective in higher ed

Extended reality (XR) technologies are particularly effective for supporting skills-based and competency-based teaching and learning, according to a new report from EDUCAUSE.

The findings are part of the HP/EDUCAUSE Campus of the Future project, which is in its second year. The project investigates the benefits of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D scanning and printing technologies–together, the technologies are referred to as XR.

Related content: Here’s how your campus can tap into extended reality

Seventeen institutions were given VR, AR, and 3D printing and scanning technologies, which they used to create immersive and innovative learning experiences for students, author Jeff Pomerantz notes.

“By expanding the range of activities through which a learner can gain hands-on experience, and by enabling the creation of realistic and high-fidelity simulations, XR expands the range of topics that can be learned as skills, rather than as abstract knowledge,” according to the report.