Debunking the STEM vs. humanities debate

Digital humanities combines computing with style—but there are mixed feelings

digital-humanities-scienceDid you know that almost all of the academic resources that you access online have been thoughtfully, and skillfully, presented by skilled computer technologists? And did you know that those computational experts are also in the humanities?

Users may take the ease with which they access digital archives and online projects for granted without thinking about the work that goes into creating such websites. What starts out as physical documents stacked upon a desk ultimately become the images or PDFs that people search for online after being scanned, organized, and attached with metadata by dedicated digital humanists.

Digital humanists do much of the behind-the-scenes work — such as developing resources, working on mapping or archival projects, and dating mining — that allows the public to peruse research and archives online.…Read More

How to liberate higher education

U.S.-based institutions must meet the increasing demand as online coursework continues to proliferate, and more international students seek a university education

digital-coursework

Declining enrollments. Increasing competition for students. Sunsetting education models. The doom-and-gloom headlines on higher education pervade mainstream media.

However, an undercurrent of optimism exists as many institutions of higher education evolve to meet these 21st century challenges. As advisors in the space, we’re quite optimistic, as we see university presidents, provosts and trustees employing bold strategies to ensure the viability (and success) of their institutions.…Read More

INFOGRAPHIC: Why digital education?

New infographic details the business and benefits of providing digital tools and online classes

digital-education-infographicAs trends like using multimedia resources for courses and incorporating blended learning classes on campus become ubiquitous, what are the motivating factors behind these trends…and do businesses profit off of them? What are some of the advances in tech spurring digital education’s growth?

According to a new infographic by Knewton, and based off of recent data from the Sloan Consortium, the New Media Consortium, the Gates Foundation, and many other sources (including multiple universities), the rise of digital education is the cause of multiple factors; the main one being the booming business of education.

From understanding why these trends are taking off in colleges and universities to a breakdown of digital education providers by type of institution, and from digital education’s potential for lowering dropout rates to making learning more affordable, this infographic provides a detailed snapshot of the digital education landscape.…Read More

Understanding the symbolism of digital badges

Can alternative credentials like digital badges provide a more nuanced view of a student achievement?

badges-credential-studentWashington, DC — Kyle Bowen, director of education technology at Pennsylvania State University, said he thinks credentials, be they traditional grades or digital badges, are little more than symbols.

And symbols mean different things to different people, Bowen said Thursday at U.S. News and World Report’s STEM Solutions conference. To illustrate his point he brought up several well-known symbols, including the icon found on most hand dryers — the one that shows three red, wavy lines floating above a hand.

“To some, this means you press a button to dry your hands,” Bowen deadpanned. “To others, it means you push a button and you get bacon.”…Read More

6 persuasion strategies for education leaders in the digital age

Best-selling author Dan Pink says persuasion needs a reboot in the Age of Information; here are his six recommendations for how education leaders can influence others to act

persuasion-digital-educationBest-selling author Dan Pink kicked off ASCD’s annual conference in Los Angeles by noting how important persuasion is to education leaders’ jobs—and yet the dynamics of persuasion have changed radically in the Information Age.

Pink said he was involved in a recent study that surveyed 7,000 full-time adult workers in the United States. When they were asked, “What percentage of your work involves convincing or persuading people to give up something they value for something you offer,” the responses averaged 41 percent.

That means people spend an average of 24 minutes of every hour trying to persuade or move others as part of their job, Pink said—and that’s certainly true of education leaders as well.…Read More

Students still prefer print textbooks over digital

Study suggests college students are slow to adopt eTextbooks

textbooks-digital-printCollege students still prefer print textbooks over digital textbooks, partially because they can’t resell eBooks at the end of a semester, a new study found.

The report, released by the National Association of College Stores, was based on a survey of 12,000 college students from 20 campuses around the country.

“A majority of college students still prefer print textbooks over digital, though many would opt for including a digital component with the textbook if given the choice,” the researchers said.…Read More

9 reasons why badges are better than degrees

Digital badge proponents say traditional degrees are too flawed for the 21st Century

digital-badge-degreeThere’s nothing quite hotter at the moment on the higher-ed front than alternative credentialing, and proponents, who once said that digital badges are great ‘supplements’ to a traditional degree, are quickly changing their opinions—arguing that digital badges are a better alternative.

(Read: “Going beyond a degree with digital badges, social media.”)

“Many degrees are only loosely linked to employability after graduation,” explains a new report by Pearson, “Open Badges for Higher Education.” Increasingly, the degree itself is not as critical as the skill set behind it.…Read More