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After 10 years and numerous delays and extensions, the Google Lunar XPrize is will end without a winner. No one will claim the $20 million grand prize that was expected to go to the first participating private company to land a spacecraft on the moon and perform a series of tasks. "After close consultation with our five finalist Google Lunar XPRIZE teams over the past several months, we have concluded that no team will make a launch attempt to reach the Moon by the March 31st, 2018 deadline," XPrize said in a statement.
Education is a dynamic space, with new trends constantly ebbing and flowing, the pendulum swinging back and forth between truly new innovations and recycled ideas. Experienced educators will recognize these patterns. But for younger teachers like me, whose careers are still in their infancy, it’s not so easy to see through the blinders.
When I moved to the Silicon Valley in 2014, I, like many, joined the gold rush to pursue this idea called “personalized learning.” I thought it was a panacea. I truly believed that tech-powered personalized learning could be the answer education was waiting for.
The EdSurge Fusion conference back in October surfaced some unexpected “aha” moments for me. The theme was personalized learning and heading into the conference I anticipated gaining a broader view of technology products promising to provide adaptive learning experiences for all students. Instead, the deep conversations around professional learning for teachers left me wondering how I could redefine my role to better support teachers in making learning personal for students.
As a technology coordinator and math teacher, I work with both teachers and students, but I spend most of my day helping teachers meaningfully infuse technology into their classroom practices. After the conference, I began to consider the similarities between the relationship of student-to-teacher and teacher-to-technology coordinator—and how my role should shift too.
At Cal State Dominguez Hills, the low November sun had faded to dusk when Professor Toddy Eames called for a break in the middle of a nearly three-hour screenwriting class.
“Fifteen minutes!” she announced as her students stood, stretched or ambled to the door. “You can take out your phones,” she added, but most students were already scrolling through the texts, emails, snapchats and other postings that had piled up during an hour of mandated tech abstinence.
Since the fall of 2016, the communications department at Dominguez Hills has banned smartphones, laptops and other personal technology in every classroom — with grade deductions for violations — except for teacher-guided use and “tech breaks” during longer classes such as Eames’s.
This story also appeared in The Washington Post
The policy was spearheaded by the department chair, Nancy Cheever, who is part of a team at the university investigating digital distraction, an issue that, for many teachers, has graduated from a nuisance into a serious threat to learning.
Many colleges these days are experimenting with short-form online degrees to try to reach new audiences and offer new options, often at a lower cost. And new upstart providers are also getting into the mix, including coding bootcamps and startups like Udacity, which offers unaccredited nanodegrees. These trends raise a host of questions about the future of credentialing.
The MOOC landscape has grown to include 9,400 courses, more than 500 MOOC-based credentials, and more than a dozen graduate degrees. The total number of MOOCs available to register for at any point of time is larger than ever, thanks to tweaks in the scheduling policy by MOOC providers.
However, for the first time, we are seeing a slowdown in the number of new learners, a direct result of a shift in priorities towards users who are willing to pay. According to data gathered by Class Central, around 20 million new learners signed up for their first MOOC in 2017, fewer than the 23 million new learners who registered for a MOOC in 2016. The total number of MOOC learners is now 78 million.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are almost here. For the skiers and snowboarders of Team USA, that means constant training on the slopes — and in virtual reality.
For the past two years, U.S. Ski and Snowboard has been working with Strivr, a VR training startup based in Menlo Park, California. The Utah-based national governing body for skiing and snowboarding uses Strivr's VR platform to train athletes for World Cup competitions as well as the upcoming Olympics.
When it comes to the future of universities and colleges around the world, higher education leaders are all too aware it's not just domestic trends that can impact the way they operate their institutions. There are also external, global factors that can change the trajectory of the industry.
Along these lines, a new report from Study Portals — an online education choice platform and research organization with around 3,000 education partnerships worldwide — used linear projection modeling of 15 high-income nations to outline eight mega trends impacting the future of universities and colleges around the globe. Here we outline how these trends are shaking up the industry in the U.S. and abroad, and what higher education leaders should consider to deal with them going forward.
The e-learning market is booming. An estimated $165 billion was spent on the industry in the U.S. in 2015, and growth is projected to hit $240 billion by 2023. In essence: there’s no end in sight for growth in e-learning.
As tech giants Google and Facebook have elbowed into the job board space, LinkedIn has expanded into e-learning by jumping into the online training market. Its goal was to take the guesswork out of learning for business by considering how jobs, industries, organizations and skills evolve over time.
In September 2017, the Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit on Western Governors University (WGU), and found that the university’s faculty did not meet the defined level of “regular and substantive” interaction with students. Of course, these definitions were established in 1992—25 years before the audit was conducted—and have not been updated or revised to keep pace with the rate of technological change that has reshaped every other aspect of the postsecondary space. In this interview, Nina Morel reflects on the findings of the OIG audit and shares her thoughts on the long-term and short-term impacts they could have.
Humans living in abject poverty are warring over the few resources they have left. There’s an energy crisis, and fossil fuels are in low supply. The weather has gone to extremes.
This is the setting of Ernest Cline’s science-fiction novel, “Ready Player One,”where human civilization is in decline, and life in virtual reality beats any day in the real world.
This page-turning novel (which is being turned into a film by Steven Spielberg) follows a geeky protagonist named Wade Watts as he undertakes a mission to win billions by finding an egg hidden inside a virtual video-game universe called the OASIS.
We talk about these author's predictions for the future and for how technology is going to change. Then I have students build functional prototypes inspired by what they've read.
Among the many rich themes explored in the story is education, painting a picture that could provide lessons for how teachers and school leaders design for education today.
Almost everyone gets some pleasure out of games. But Kevin Bell, pro vice chancellor of digital futures at Western Sydney University, sees potential for more than just fun in the principles that govern games.
In his new book, Game On: Gamification, Gameful Design and the Rise of the Gamer Educator (Johns Hopkins University Press), Bell explores the role that the ethos of gaming is already having and could have in the higher education classroom. He lays out the differences between gamification and gameful design, examines case studies at institutions including the University of South Florida and the University of New Hampshire, and aims toward conclusions about the future of this slice of education innovation.
Bell answered questions by email about the book and his broader thoughts on digital learning. A transcript, lightly edited for clarity, follows.
Colleges don’t generally plan academic programs to respond to breaking news. But in the last few years, a handful of higher ed institutions have offered multisession “pop-up courses” that faculty can design quickly for students who want to earn credit for studying events in real time.
“Given the rate at which things are changing in the country right now, we can’t always reflect those changes efficiently enough in our curriculum,” says Karen Talentino, vice president for academic affairs at St. Michael’s College in Vermont.
“Like many schools, we were dealing with issues of diversity and inclusion on campus, and we needed some way to pull people together to let them talk about their concerns and emotions.”
Innovation in the broadest sense denotes a creative change to alter the status quo — everything from automation and gene-altering technologies to grandiose ideas. But, in the higher education industry, innovation is not so clear cut.
Alana Dunagan, research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute, spoke about this at a Council for Higher Education Accreditation event last June, explaining there are two ways of understanding innovation: sustained versus disruptive.
“Disruptive innovations make products and services cheaper and more accessible, while sustaining innovations makes them more complex and more expensive,” said Dunagan.
The latest data on the nation’s college and university enrollment shows that online is steadily climbing its way up to more than a third of the student population—as face-to-face continues to plummet. That’s a surprising turn in the long-time arc of academic population growth.
If online weren’t in the picture, on-campus enrollments, as reported in the most recent U.S. Department of Education 2016 results, would have fallen by more than 1.5 million between 2012 and 2016, says Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group, who has been tracking the country’s virtual education lifeline for 15 years. “Without digital, higher ed would be in far worse shape than it is now,” he adds. “Distance ed is saving higher ed.”
California has an extensive set of laws and regulations governing for-profit colleges, new research shows, but most states fall short in their oversight of the sector.
The study, released Monday by the Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, documents differences among states in how well their laws protect students from bad actors in the for-profit college industry.
Researchers judged states using seven criteria, such as enforcement, disclosure requirements, complaint processes and the transparency of their regulatory agencies. Forty-three states, including Maryland and Virginia, earned failing grades. Six others received a D, while California alone scored a B for its oversight of for-profit schools.
Many leaders in industries going through digital transformation experience a certain spine-tickling moment when “futures flip-over” happens. That moment is when you get-it that the previously marginal online offering has become the default and the traditional solution has become the exotic.
It has happened in music, in newspapers, etc., and this is where university campuses and business schools are fast heading as education designers, coders and entrepreneurs close in on online platforms that replicate and in many ways improve on the traditional live experience. All for much less money.