TEACHING & LEARNING
When Windy Hanson enrolled in Eastern Oregon University's liberal studies bachelor's program, she signed up mostly for online courses for the flexibility. But the Oregon resident also wanted some of the resources offered on campus nearby.
"I had to work, and I was a single mom at that time," says the 38-year-old, who graduated in 2013 and then earned her master's partially online last year at Oregon State University's Ecampus. "I needed to be able to have a campus close to me so that I could access my teachers and professors and things like that, but at the same time I also needed the freedom to be able to do coursework online to where I wasn't tied down to a class time."
Hanson isn't alone. As overall online course enrollment rises, more undergraduate and graduate online learners are choosing a program near their home, according to a 2016 survey by Aslanian Market Research and the Learning House, a company that helps colleges and universities develop quality online degree programs.
The technologies that exist in classrooms today won't necessarily be the same ones that are around in 10 years. In particular, the days of desktop computers and laptops are numbered, according to educators in Campus Technology's 2016 Teaching with Technology survey. The survey 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.
In an open-ended question, respondents were asked to predict what education tech would die over the next decade. Desktop computers were mentioned by 29 percent of the 408 people who suggested anything at all. That type of tech won hands-down by a margin of nearly 2-to-1 compared to the next most popular choice: clickers, referenced in 16 percent of the votes.
The United States Department of Education (ED) has formally kicked off a new competition designed to encourage the development of virtual and augmented reality concepts for education.
Dubbed the EdSim Challenge, the competition is aimed squarely at developing students' career and technical skills — it's funded through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 — and calls on developers and ed tech organizations to develop concepts for "computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and assessment. Collaboration is encouraged among the developer community to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components. ED is most interested in simulations that pair the engagement of commercial games with educational content that transfers academic, technical, and employability skills."
A "boutique" search company has developed a free online resource that lets users search for university and college videos that have been posted to YouTube and then clip and share segments of those videos with students and colleagues.
MicroSearch's new UniversityVideos.org includes a video player that shows the video playing on the left and a transcript tracking with the video on the right. Clicking into another sentence in the transcript jumps the user to that part of the video.
To clip and share a portion of an education video, the user clicks within the transcript at the point where the clip should begin, then drags to highlight the remainder of the clip. A window appears with a link that can be copied and shared or simply emailed. When the recipient of the link clicks on it, the link takes the user directly to that part of the video and begins playing it.
The majority of students use video captions and video transcripts to help themselves improve focus, retain information, engage with material and improve comprehension, according to a new study from Oregon State University. However, many institutions do not offer captions or video transcripts despite a legal obligation to do so.
The Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit conducted the national study in collaboration with 3Play Media. The researchers surveyed 2,124 students across 15 public and private universities throughout the United States. Of all respondents, 19 percent reported hearing difficulties, and 37 reported vision difficulties. However, only 13 percent had registered with an office of disability services, and less than 12 percent reported they require academic accommodations.