5 gray areas of higher education’s reinvention

New innovations in higher-ed technology and practice are popping up daily in higher education’s reinvention—but that doesn’t mean they have seals of approval.

higher-education-reinventioneTextbook engagement analytics, cloud systems, career training programs, MOOCs, flipped learning, virtual worlds, game-based instruction…the list could continue for pages. And while institutions emphatically communicate that many of these technologies and practices part of higher education’s reinvention need further research, even some of the seemingly accepted innovations have yet to receive a clear green light.

These “gray areas” on campuses across the country often occur due to technology-based changes in social practices; and though college and university staff often are eager to incorporate these practices in the classroom or within administration, conflicts over institutional mission, student satisfaction or learning quality can occur.

For example, take online assessments: the ability for a student to take an assessment anywhere on a computer initially seems to benefit both the student (easy access) and assessment quality (adaptive functionality). Yet, after initial trials-and-errors, the verdict is still out thanks to major concerns over student cheating and identity verification.…Read More

5 practices you won’t see on campus anymore

Reminiscing about campus life, we wax poetic on practices long gone or on their way out

campus-practices-studentsLast year, we published a throw-back piece on technology in the K-12 classroom that was either on its way out or long gone—ranging from technology like floppy disks to The Oregon Trail. But higher education, though known to practice traditions longer, has also changed dramatically over the last few decades.

With ages ranging from early 60s to our interns who are literally still in college, eCampus News decided to compile a list of practices and traditions we either remembered when going to college that no longer exist or are quickly becoming extinct in its current form.

Have any practices or traditions you remember that aren’t on campus today? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to leave your comments in the section provided below, email me at mstansbury@ecampusnews.com, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.…Read More

8 new pathways to higher education

Network releases best practices from 8 states offering new pathways to a career-specific degree

network-pathways-education For the first time, eight states have released innovative best practices for other states and local areas interested in helping students land careers after postsecondary education. The Network of states’ practices are revolutionary in that they offer a general standard model of how to create this needed pipeline.

The Pathways to Prosperity Network, an initiative of Jobs for the Future (JFF) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, began two years ago in an effort to help more students enter not only postsecondary education, but full-time jobs that directly help companies fill critical positions.

An effort that is sorely needed.…Read More

5 critical tips for implementing mobile technology

Tips include those for educators, IT staff and admin

mobile-technology-students Long gone are the days when having a phone in class was cause for dismissal, with professors and students eager to implement mobile technology into the classroom. The problem is, not all implementation is effective.

From knowing why IT woes occur on your campus to learning why apps aren’t always the saviors they’re marketed to be, these 5 tips can help educators get the most out of mobile learning.

Have any tips you’d like to share? Do you think mobile learning in class is all it’s cracked up to be? Leave your comments in the section below, email me at mstansbury@ecampusnews.com, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.…Read More

10 ed-tech books for summer reading

There’s no better time to get caught up on industry and education than during summer vacation

summer-reading-tech Summer vacation, while also the perfect time to pretend you’re not enjoying your niece’s copy of Twilight with a mojito in-hand, is also the best time to catch up on fascinating books that can help broaden your perspective on issues in the field of technology, education and educational technology.

And while it’s always satisfying to read dense epics on topics you can brag to your peers about, these books are not chocked full of thick technical jargon, but rather, innovative and well-researched thoughts on influencing trends and disruptions, written in ways to promote discussion.

From how open data is changing policy to how Millennials are turning Boomer culture on its head, and from a collection of recent developments in Flipped Learning best practices to the philosophy behind free education, these recently published (most are within the last year) books offer a range of topics that should hit a cord not just with invested educators, but anyone interested in learning more about how the cornerstones of our society are in flux.…Read More

5 great educational resources on Netflix streaming

Here are five awesome educational films and TV programs to watch and share on Netflix

netflix-education-moviesWith Netflix streaming, there are thousands of films and television shows to choose from and watch instantly. And a surprisingly large portion of these films are educational in nature.

There are television specials, feature-length documentary films, and recorded lectures about topics ranging from science to American history, from music history to digital citizenship.

Here are just five Netflix resources we found to be both entertaining and informative.…Read More

10 best Apple and Android Apps for research

These research apps provide everything from citation to scholarly searches

researchresizedOne of the biggest perks to including mobile devices in the classroom is also one of the most basic—conducting research with the touch of a finger. And outside of downloading Google’s search app, many apps cater intuitively to finding articles and annotation sources, which is helpful for any student, educator or librarian.

From showing examples of how to cite multimedia sources to being able to annotate any kind of document on a mobile device, and from creating customized online searches of scholarly publications to being able to log into your computer files from your phone, these apps are a plus for anyone interested in conducting meaningful research.

Know of any research apps for students in higher education, or apps that librarians have recommended? Have you tried any of these apps? Leave your comments in the section provided below, email me at mstansbury@ecampusnews.com, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.…Read More

How competency is changing mainstream education

New infographic represents the significant changes education is experiencing due to competency-based learning

badgeresizedI tend to see competency-based courses/alternative credentialing like solar energy: They both sprang from urgent need; they are practical, yet challenge the status quo; and both were technically around long before now.

Believe it or not, solar energy was actually discovered in the late 1800s and had a practical application as a power station that pumped water into the Egyptian desert for crops. It worked, and was hailed as a miracle that could essentially change the entire landscape of arid regions…that is, until WWI broke out and oil was cheap and readily available, nixing solar energy until its revamp in the 1970s when it became more apparent fossil fuels weren’t going to last forever and pollution was becoming a problem.

Like solar energy that was developed earlier than you might have thought, competency-based learning was essentially the apprenticeship of the late middle ages. In apprenticeship, a new generation of practitioners are trained in competencies through a set of skills towards a career. Sound familiar?…Read More

5 ways Maya Angelou influenced education

Notable author, poet and educator left a beautiful mark on all those interested in becoming lifelong learners

Whmaya-angelouen I heard about Maya Angelou’s passing today (May 28th), I was currently getting a bad cavity filled, an extremely dispassionate process framing an emotional response I wasn’t quite prepared for.

As an English major, the path I’m currently on in my life as journalist, editor, and (hopefully) one-day novelist, has been spurred by collections of books and poems—the passions of life made tangible in structures and syntax, and the brave and humble authors who have made these experiences available to me.

One of my favorite books I read in my high school AP English class was I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and not because I can necessarily relate to the experiences outlined in a book known to be one of Angelou’s autobiographies, but because of the foreign and vibrant world it exposed—a cultural and literary expedition brought about through a strong female protagonist who, believe it or not, wasn’t in love with a half-naked vampire.…Read More

6 wonders of campus supercomputers

Powerful supercomputers are becoming more and more common on college campuses

supercomputers-campus-educationSupercomputers can help university researchers predict the weather, simulate the start of the universe, and understand human biology. They can help visualize data by projecting high quality images onto wall-sized screens or create life-size, immersive 3D simulations.

Even the size of the computers can be a imposing, with some filling spaces as large as a football field or an industrial warehouse.

But perhaps the most impressive advancement of today’s supercomputers is that you no longer have to be a wealthy research university to have one on campus. From computers made from Legos to computers that can beat humans in games of chess and Jeopardy!, there’s plenty to marvel at when it comes to campus supercomputers.…Read More