Laser projection makes 4000 lumens the new Higher Ed standard

With the introduction of lamp-free projectors that use Lasers & LEDs as a light source instead of lamps, you can now get projectors that provide the same high brightness and vibrant colors without the need to ever change a lamp.  The new Laser & LED light sources degrade at a much slower rate than lamps and so maintain their brightness for a much longer time.  Most Laser projectors are rated as having a lengthy operation life-time of up to 20,000 hours.  This means that in a typical university environment, your lamp-free projector should last over 12 years, based on an average of seven hours of use a day, and 220 school days a year, that’s without ever having to change a lamp!

What does this mean for you?  It means that a 4000 lumen lamp-free projector is going to stay near 4000 lumens for the majority of its long 20,000 hour life, unlike traditional lamp projectors, where the lamps start to degrade immediately and can lose up to 50% brightness between 2,000 and 3,000 hours of use.  If you do the math, that 5000 lumen lamp projector will be projecting a brightness of only 2500 lumens after a only a couple of years of use while the new laser projectors are keeping your images bright and clear for well over 10 years.  4000 lumens lamp-free projectors can provide the reliable high brightness needed for higher education’s large classrooms and most lecture halls for years and years with minimal maintenance.

And it gets better as there are numerous benefits gained from using Laser light source projection technology.…Read More

3 experts share their blended learning advice

With a growing non-traditional student population, many colleges and universities are looking to blended learning technology and strategy to meet their pedagogical needs. But finding a combination of online and in-person components that match the expectations of both students and faculty can be daunting. Thankfully, higher ed’s collaborative culture makes networking and sharing expertise with other IT professionals easier.

A panel of industry experts spoke at the higher ed IT Professional’s Meetup at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., to discuss how to find the right mix of blended learning offerings. The panel included Eric Palson, director of academic technologies at Babson College; Kristen Palson, director for Simmons Online at Simmons College in Boston; and Gaurav Shah, director of academic technologies at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. Elmore Alexander, the former dean of the Ricciardi College of Business at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass., moderated the discussion.

While blended learning environments may not be as ubiquitous as other programs in higher ed, they are growing in popularity and have proven successful at some institutions. “This is an important topic for schools of all sizes,” said Babson’s Palson. “With so many options for learners, including free education, to be able to create online and blended offerings in an efficient, scalable way that ensures a quality learning experience is critical right now.” Palson has more than 15 years of creating online and blended content and applications; his team at Babson runs six online or blended programs, with nine expected to be live this fall.…Read More

3 higher ed experts share their blended learning advice

With a growing non-traditional student population, many colleges and universities are looking to blended learning technology and strategy to meet their pedagogical needs. But finding a combination of online and in-person components that match the expectations of both students and faculty can be daunting. Thankfully, higher ed’s collaborative culture makes networking and sharing expertise with other IT professionals easier.

On March 1st, the higher ed IT Professional’s Meetup gathered at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., to discuss how attendees could find the right blend for their university’s blended learning offerings. A panel of industry experts came together: Eric Palson, director of academic technologies at Babson College; Kristen Palson, director for Simmons Online at Simmons College in Boston; and Gaurav Shah, director of academic technologies at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. Elmore Alexander, the dean of the Ricciardi College of Business at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass., moderated the discussion.

While blended learning environments may not be as ubiquitous as other programs in higher ed, they are growing in popularity and have proven successful at some institutions. “This is an important topic for schools of all sizes,” said Babson’s Palson. “With so many options for learners, including free education, to be able to create online and blended offerings in an efficient, scalable way that ensures a quality learning experience is critical right now.” Palson has more than 15 years of creating online and blended content and applications; his team at Babson runs six online or blended programs, with nine expected to be live this fall.…Read More

7 ways humans are critical to online learning

Blended learning done right is the ‘gold standard,’ say experts

online-learning-humansOnline courses that are credit-bearing hold incredible promise for high school and college students eager for flexible schedules and a cheaper education alternative; but as one study shows, it’s the skilled human element part of blended learning that offers the maximum benefits.

The study, “Innovating Toward Equity with Online Courses: Testing the optimal ‘blend’ of in-person human supports with low-income youth and teachers in California,” conducted by the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence at the University of California, San Diego, aimed to understand whether or not humans played a critical role to credited online learning—and if so, in what capacity?

“In California, online self-education is key to one definition of ‘equity,’ particularly for low-income youth…Many scholars celebrate moments when youth teach themselves using computers, seemingly making a teacher or even physical schools seem unnecessary,” explained the report’s authors. “What should human instructors still be paid to do?”…Read More

10 reasons why blended learning is exploding

New infographic delves into recent education trend data to explain why blended learning is taking off

blended-learning-trendsBlended learning, like many other buzzwords in education, is getting thrown around in ed-tech conversations as one of the hottest trends taking over course instruction and luring prospective students to colleges. But just like the current backlash against MOOCs, it’s important to know why a trend occurs in order to gauge its shelf life.

Blended learning is constantly evolving, with most of the innovations and refinements developed to support student-centered learning, explains DreamBox Learning, creator of the infographic. “There is mounting evidence that complementing or replacing lectures with student-centric, technology-enabled active learning strategies and learning guidance—rather than memorization and repetition—improves learning, supports knowledge retention, and raises achievement,” says the company. These new student-centered blended learning methods inspire engagement, and are a way to connect with every student right where they are while supporting progress.

Another reason why blended learning is currently expanding in education is that the global economy of the future will demand that high-skilled workers have “technological dexterity, the ability to think critically, and the development of flexible intelligence that will thrive in— and drive—change,” said DreamBox.…Read More

University establishes flipped learning training center for faculty

Students in SJSU’s blended learning pilot program had a high completion rate.

San Jose State University, known as the public university serving Silicon Valley, will be home to a program that will train faculty members from across California in how to administer a blended course using a massive open online course (MOOC) platform.

SJSU, which last fall became the first institution to test incorporating edX’s online content into a campus-based course for credit, announced April 10 that the university would open a Center for Excellence in Adaptive and Blended Learning for educators from across the state interested in offering edX’s electrical engineering course next academic year.

The public announcement included details on an expansion of SJSU’s edX pilot program that will make the edX engineering class available to as many as 11 of the 23 California State University system schools, reaching thousands of students across the state.…Read More

Video advances blended learning for students and faculty

Video uploading tools allow students and faculty to learn together.

Is well-organized and managed video access the key to successful blended learning in higher education? Officials at one university think so.

To achieve the accessibility and expanded storage space that it wanted, the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) employed Kaltura’s open-source online video platform to supplement its preexisting Blackboard platform.

NUI Galway’s Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT) decided to invest in additional video technology because its staff believes that videos offer unique learning features for professors and students.…Read More

Flipped learning: Professor tested, student approved

Seven in 10 students say they watch online lectures more than once.

Marcio Oliveira could see the benefits of his kinesiology course’s flipped learning approach with every new hand that popped up in the first minute of every class, as students peppered him with questions. But he needed more than anecdotal evidence, so he conducted a survey, and the results proved that the hands didn’t lie.

Oliveira, a professor and assistant chair in the University of Maryland’s Department of Kinesiology, began his flipped learning experimentation during the spring 2009 semester in his 200-student class, turning the traditional learning model on its head: students learn content outside of class—through podcasts and recorded lectures, mostly—and do what was once known as homework during class, with the help of professors.

Students seemed to appreciate the flexibility of watching lectures online, outside of class, and having Oliveira and his teaching assistants (TAs) answer questions during class and in smaller sections headed by the TAs. It wasn’t until Oliveira asked students about the flipped model that he knew how popular the approach had become.…Read More

The top 10 higher-ed tech stories of 2010: No. 4

The Obama administration said technology would be a centerpiece to enrolling more students and boosting completion rates.

The United States used to lead the world in the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees; now it ranks 12th among 36 developed nations. That’s something the Obama administration hopes to change by focusing heavily in the last year on boosting the nation’s college completion rate—and technology has played a key role in many of these efforts.

During a first-ever White House summit on community colleges in October, Obama administration officials and junior college leaders discussed ways to position two-year colleges as training hubs that could be instrumental in the country’s economic recovery. And technology, they said, would be a centerpiece to enrolling more students and boosting completion rates.

Ceci Rouse, a White House economic advisor, said colleges that have launched virtual financial aid offices—websites that guide students through the often-tricky application process—have seen spikes in applicants and Pell Grant recipients. And Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spoke to educators and community college officials during the summit’s opening session, highlighting two-year schools’ use of online classes to make education accessible for non-traditional students.…Read More