The next big tech: Bringing 3D printing to the classroom

Exploring curiosity through 3D printing has serious potential for faculty and students in the classroom

The frame and motion systems of Robox 3D printer are designed to be extremely rigid and accurately positioned.

The rise in popularity for 3D printing in recent years could easily be considered the next Industrial Revolution.

In fact, the theme of the Inside 3D Printing Conference this year was “The Third Industrial Revolution,” which speaks to how 3D printing opens up the door to more product manufacturing at home.

We’ve already begun to see how 3D printing has made significant changes to how we live today – from small business to medical advancements – so it comes as no surprise that 3D printing and education have been gaining mainstream attention. Here’s why:…Read More

Best practices in higher-education technology use: August 2012

Here are some of the best practices in higher-education technology use featured in the July/August edition of eCampus News.

Students at the University of Wisconsin now can earn college degrees based on competency, not credits; Ohio State is revamping its classroom technology to meet students’ digital demands; two West Coast schools are taking an innovative approach to disaster planning; and dozens of schools this fall will see if eBooks can bring down textbook costs: These are among the best practices in higher-education technology use featured in the July/August edition of eCampus News.

Our July/August edition is now available in digital format on our website. You can browse the full publication here, or click on any of the headlines below to read these highlights:

Earning a degree with competency, not credits…Read More

Tech experts, educators see massive online learning shift by 2020

Three in four Americans say college is too expensive.

Higher education’s economics are unsustainable and vulnerable to technologies that could make college campuses the hub of the privileged few, according to a vast collection of opinions from international technologists and educators.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center recently asked more than 1,000 digital learning experts to weigh two drastically different scenarios for how higher education would look in 2020.

About four in 10 survey respondents said there would be “modest” changes in the way college is taught and paid for over the next eight years, and six in 10 expected a fundamental shift in the use of web-based technologies to upturn the current campus order, lowering costs, making education more accessible, and, in some cases, lowering standards.…Read More

IT officials: Only one in 10 campuses have ‘cutting edge’ technology

Fourteen percent said professors simply 'won’t use' technology that is available to them
Fourteen percent of students said their professors simply 'won’t use' technology that is available to them.

Most college students say their schools understand how to use education technology in the lecture hall, but only 9 percent of campus IT officials describe their institution’s technology adoption as “cutting edge,” according to a survey released July 19.

The survey of more than 1,000 IT staff members, faculty, and college students, conducted by CDW Government Inc. (CDW-G), shows that three out of four students surveyed approved of their college’s use of technology, while highlighting two findings that concerned some technologists: only a sliver of respondents defined their campus technology as “cutting edge,” and far more IT staffers push for education technology than do instructors.

According to CDW-G’s report, 47 percent of respondents said their college campus uses hardware that is “no more than three years old,” and 38 percent said their campus’s technology infrastructure is “adequate, but could be refreshed.” Only 9 percent said their education technology is “cutting edge,” and 5 percent described their computer systems as “aging.”…Read More

Oceanographer touts deep sea web surfing

Researchers and students can see what Ballard sees through the new Nautilus Live web site.
Students can see what Ballard sees through the new Nautilus Live web site.

Bob Ballard, the explorer best known for the discovery of the Titanic and other wrecks, has not only made deep-sea exploration more accessible for K-12 and college students, but he’ll feed them updates through two of their favorite web sites: Facebook and Twitter.

Ballard visited the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration in Connecticut June 23 to introduce his new Nautilus Live Theater, along with a new web site where people can watch his expeditions live.

“The idea is to have millions of people follow these expeditions,” said Peter Glankoff, the aquarium’s senior vice president of marketing and public affairs.…Read More

Professor to students: Text away

Student's text message questions are screened before they're posted to a large screen.
Students' text-message questions are screened before they're posted for peers to read.

Georgia State University students who don’t want to yell their questions from the back of a cavernous lecture hall now have another option: They can send text messages to their professor, who reads the queries from an overhead screen.

David McDonald, director of emerging technologies and an associate professor in the Atlanta-based university’s business school, is inviting the use of text messaging during class while many educators are instituting strict rules against the practice.

The texting program—similar to handheld student response systems—is being used in about 15 Georgia State business courses this school year.…Read More

The top higher-ed tech stories of 2009: No. 3

Online education advocates say free web programs could expand higher education to developing countries.
Online education advocates say free web programs could expand higher education to developing countries.

Although technically it was published in 2008, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, by Clayton Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson, and Michael Horn, made a huge impression in the past year, and its authors spoke at numerous education conferences in 2009. Their ideas proved quite prophetic later in the year, when a new online-learning movement emerged that is sure to send shock waves throughout higher education.

If the book’s authors are right, half of all instruction will take place online within the next 10 years—and schools had better get into the online-learning market or risk losing their students to other providers.

Disruptive innovation is the business idea that, every so often, a new innovation comes along that completely changes the marketplace, knocking the old market leaders from their perch and giving rise to new ones.…Read More