TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION
For much of their modern existence, distance-education courses have suffered from an image problem. In the 1970s and 1980s, they were seen as cheap knockoffs of on-campus offerings, hawked on late-night television by the likes of Sally Struthers, who asked viewers, “Do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do,” in commercials for the International Correspondence School.
In the late 1990s, the introduction of online learning coincided with the expansion of for-profit providers, such as the University of Phoenix and Corinthian Colleges. The two trends were often conflated in the media, and the quality concerns that frequently dogged the for-profit industry rubbed off on online programs. Columbia University tried to change public perception in 2000, when it started a high-profile, $25 million online learning portal called Fathom, which aggregated content from other top-ranked institutions. It was an idea ahead of its time, by a decade. The site went dark in 2003, after failing to turn a profit. By 2011, in a survey by the Pew Research Center, just 29 percent of American adults said that online courses offered equal value to learning in traditional classrooms.
When Victoria Rosario, the associate vice chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District, wrote her Ph.D. dissertation on generational differences in technology adoption in 2012, she included a finding that will likely resonate with many higher education professionals: “The perception of what a technological innovation is to a boomer is not an innovation to a millennial or Gen Xer.”
That insight, along with others from her research, now informs Rosario’s approach to new initiatives at Los Rios. With four colleges and six education centers serving more than 77,000 students, the California district caters to an incredibly wide range of learners. That challenges administrators to choose, implement and launch technology tools that work well for everyone — and that everyone will embrace.
MakerBot is back in the 3D printing hardware game, but it's shifting away from consumers. Almost a decade after inventing the home 3D printing market, MakerBot is now focused squarely on professional product prototyping and the education markets. "It's part of an overall re-positioning," said MakerBot CEO Jonathan Jaglom.
What if you could talk to your past? Detective Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List) is about to find out on the forthcoming CW series Frequency, premiering October 5, 9/8c, when she uses an old ham radio to speak to her deceased father. But ham radios have made more of an impact than just allowing detectives to figure their father’s unsolved murder—they’re partly to blame for the device in your pocket. From the first radios to the iPhone, here’s a brief history of the last century of telecommunications.
Wearing Google Glass was probably never cool, but that doesn’t mean eyewear can’t still be both intelligent and hip. At least that’s what sunglass manufacturer Oakley is counting on. Nine months after Intel — Oakley’s partner — gave us a brief glimpse of the future of intelligent eyewear, Oakley is finally ready to ship the sharp-looking Oakley Radar Pace.
According to our Teaching with Technology survey, 55 percent of faculty support the idea of their institutions providing computing devices to all students, while 67 percent like the "bring your own device" approach.
About a quarter of faculty (23 percent) fully support the idea of their institutions providing computing devices to all students. And another 30 percent are in favor of device handouts, but with reservations. These insights and more were part of Campus Technology's first-ever Teaching with Tech survey, which polled faculty members across the country about their use of technology for teaching and learning, their wish lists and gripes, their view of what the future holds and more.
People will do crazy things to get to the top of the "real money slots" search rankings.
Researchers at eTraffic uncovered a scheme that sent a certain site rocketing up the organic search rankings. When eTraffic investigated, 76 different university and foundation web pages — including Stanford, New York University, and Carnegie Mellon University — had suddenly begun linking to the site, each randomly inserting linked keywords into otherwise unrelated text. Because Google’s search ranking is still largely based on keyword links from trusted sites, that was enough to propel the site to the top of the search ranking.
All told, 76 sites included the links, primarily university sites throughout the world. The links are often embedded mid-sentence in course descriptions and press releases, and four days after eTraffic published its findings, many of the links are still present on the affected sites. It’s not clear how those links arrived on the site, but it seems very unlikely that the host institutions put them there. Hacking seems far more plausible, particularly given the number of known vulnerabilities in popular blogging plugins likely to have been used on the site.
The California Community Colleges system has gone public with its use of an IT virtualized lab. The country's largest system of higher education is working with NETLAB+, a remote access application from Network Development Group (NDG) that lets faculty and students schedule and perform lab exercises for their IT courses.
Almost 50 of the system's community colleges are using NETLAB+, in a regional sharing model. The college system is also running a blended user group that brings educators and administrators together online to share questions and ideas on how to implement the virtual computer lab environment in their classrooms.
On Oct. 1, 1996, 34 university leaders gathered at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton in hopes of establishing networking capabilities to advance research in education and the global commercial internet. Out of that meeting grew Internet2, the backbone of America's research and education community.
Twenty years hence, Internet2 is providing a collaborative environment for 317 U.S. higher education institutions, 81 corporations, 64 affiliate and federal affiliate members, 43 regional and state education networks and more than 65 national research and education networking partners in 100-plus countries.
Internet2, however, didn't emerge a full-grown network overnight. It evolved out of a network initially created by the National Science Foundation — NSFNET — and researchers' desire to reclaim the high-speed capabilities they enjoyed before the internet was privatized.
Point, shoot and solve.
An app that is notorious for helping students solve math equations now makes it even easier for students to solve a problem. Version 3.0 of Photomath, available now for iOS and soon-to-be-available for Android devices for free, enables students to take photos of their handwritten math equations and receive step-by-step instructions for solving the problem.
The app previously could only read printed text using MicroBlink mobile text recognition technology. The update still utilizes MicroBlink, but with enhancements that allow handwritten text to be processed. In addition, the new version features Photomath+, an expert math system that guides learners through an equation.
There are two kinds of VR headsets right now: smartphone-based ones like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View, and PC-based ones like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The two offer low-end and high-end VR experiences, respectively.
There's really nothing in the middle yet, but at the Oculus Connect 3 developer conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to change that. He believes self-contained, standalone VR headsets that don't need a phone or a PC will occupy that space and revealed Facebook-owned Oculus is building one.