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In the wake of the first iPhone, personal devices became sleeker, slimmer, and more powerful.
They also became more difficult to repair, as companies locked them down with glue and proprietary screws. And so, instead of getting their stuff fixed, people got used to buying new devices and throwing old ones away. As the piles of e-waste grew, the "right to repair" movement was born.
Gamification (both the term and the concept) has become a double-edged sword. The notion of making a game out of an educational experience, lesson, content, or activity is one that has been chased for centuries. But the idea of turning a learning activity into a game that will rival those from game companies such as Electronic Arts (EA), Rovio, and Nintendo is something that is simply not going to happen. As a result, a number of educational technology (edtech) companies either are leaning away from the gamification term entirely or are switching to other modalities that are more like adaptive scenarios than full games. Games (or even more basic simulations) are very difficult to get right and are extremely expensive to build. Even in the professional game-development world, for every successful World of Warcraft (WoW), Halo, or Angry Birds, there are tens of thousands of failed attempts. The complex mix of narrative (neither too cheesy nor too complex), appropriate challenge (neither too easy nor too hard), motivating rewards (both meaningful and intrinsic), and feedback loops is incredibly troublesome and costly to package into a whole experience.
On many campuses, students must carry ID cards to access their residence halls, take out library books, go to the gym and pay for lunch in the dining hall.
But this practice could soon be a thing of the past, with the launch of digital student ID cards on Apple Watches and iPhones.
Using Near-Field Communications technology, students will be able to access a multitude of services on campus just by waving their phone or watch near compatible readers.
Six universities have been working with Apple and Blackboard on the initiative, including Duke, Johns Hopkins, Santa Clara and Temple Universities and the Universities of Alabama and Oklahoma.
Rather than an app, the digital student ID cards will be part of Apple Wallet and linked to Apple Pay. The service is expected to go live at the six collaborating universities this fall. Contacted by Inside Higher Ed, none of the universities expanded on details such as what model of iPhone or Apple Watch students would need to have to use the technology, nor whether they are planning an Android equivalent of the system. Presumably, the technology will supplement (rather than replace) existing student ID card systems, as not all students own Apple technology.
It’s that time of year again, when fresh-faced graduates embark on the rest of their lives, holding their hard-earned degrees as the first-class ticket to a bright future. It’s a moment when everyone unites in celebrating the benefits that higher education bestows on the young. But the reality is this: The year-round perceptions of college are the reverse of rosy. During a moment of national upheaval and political division, with many of our institutions and values under attack, doubters and cynics have been going after higher education with pitchforks.
A doomsday narrative describing colleges and universities as exclusionary and overpriced has upended the long-held belief that a post-secondary degree is the gateway to economic security, mental and physical well-being, and meaningful participation in society. Stories of young people demanding safe spaces and lap-of-luxury amenities make college sound like an indulgence; graduates with escalating student loans but no jobs make it sound like a raw deal.
Maybe higher education has reached its peak. Not the Harvards and Yales of the world, but the institutions that make up the rest of the industry—the regional public schools who saw decades of growth and are now facing major budget cuts and the smaller, less-selective private colleges that have exorbitant sticker prices while the number of students enrolling in them declines.
Growth can be a scary and exciting time for organizations.
At the University of Arizona, we’ve seen tremendous growth in the number of online learners. In 2017, more than 3,600 students enrolled in UA Online. Over the next few years, enrollment numbers are projected to continue to increase, more than tripling by 2024.
On the one hand, it’s rewarding to see students gain a world-class education that they’ve never had access to before. On the other, it can be daunting to think about the administrative and technological infrastructures needed to scale operations to serve the growing number of online students.
But, while growth requires strategy and intentionality, it’s not overly complex. Moving forward, the expansion of UA Online will require the continued convergence of two key areas: student recruitment and student success.
Schools are using digital content more than ever before. They are relying on digital resources, open educational resources, and teacher-created content to support curricular goals. As more of our content is pushed out to students through online platforms, our responsibility to consider copyright as part of our planning process, no matter what the process looks like, grows.
When we are in the trenches of testing windows, grading, school safety, and all of our other daily responsibilities, copyright might not feel like the number-one priority. But it has to become a priority.
It is important that we as educators invest time and effort into becoming comfortable applying copyright—not only to keep ourselves free of the consequences of not doing so, but also so that we can pass on these skills to our students. This is a responsibility that we all share, no matter the grade level or content area.