Category Archives: IT

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Campus Tech Leaders Report More Support for Free Educational Materials

College technology leaders appear more optimistic these days about open-source textbooks and open educational resources — teaching and learning materials that can be used at no cost.

According to the latest Campus Computing Survey of top technology officers at colleges, released on Thursday, 81 percent believe that open educational resources will be an important source for instructional material in the next five years. And 38 percent report that their institutions encourage faculty members to us…

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Measuring Academic Skills and ‘Grit’ to Help Identify At-Risk Students

With the help of a grant of nearly $2 million, Excelsior College wants to use analytics to identify at-risk students.

The private nonprofit institution, in Albany, N.Y., was one of 17 recipients of a First in the World Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the college announced on Wednesday. It plans to use the grant money to fund an open-source assessment tool that colleges will eventually be able to use free of charge.

Called the Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills,

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Following the Money in Ed-Tech Investment: Number of Mergers Grows

Investors are rushing to buy into higher-education-related companies these days, and there’s plenty of consolidation in the market as well.

The number of mergers and acquisitions in the industry has reached its highest peak in two and a half years, according to a recent report by the investment-banking firm of Berkery Noyes. In the past six months, the number of such mergers grew by 9 percent.

Most mergers highlighted in the report don’t share a major theme, said Trace Urdan, an independent an…

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New Model of ‘Smart Campus’? Carnegie Mellon to Embed Sensors Across Landscape

Imagine a world where you’re driving to campus, and before you get there, your car tells you to park in one lot because it already knows another is full. That could soon be the reality at Carnegie Mellon University, where researchers have teamed up with Google to place wireless sensors around the campus to connect everyday items with the web.

The idea is to make life more convenient, and to provide useful data about the campus, said Anind K. Dey, the project’s lead investigator and an associate …

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Universities Ban Smart Watches During Finals

Some Australian universities warned students this month not to wear wristwatches during final exams, amid concerns that increasingly popular wearable technology, like the Apple Watch, could foster cheating.

La Trobe University, in Melbourne, and the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, both issued warnings at the start of their final-exam periods that students would have to remove their watches before testing began. The University of New South Wales required students to put all wristwatches…

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Coding Boot Camps Are on the Rise

The unaccredited education programs known as coding boot camps are proliferating, and gaining more students. This year the number of graduates from such programs is expected to hit 16,000, up from 6,740 in 2014, according to a recent survey by Course Report, a business that focuses on the sector.

At the boot camps, which are not affiliated with colleges or universities and which offer in-person instruction, students can work and study programming for 10 hours a day — or more — for months at …

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Amid Fast Change, Group Seems Slow to Enhance Colleges’ Control of Online Courses

Last spring a group of university leaders announced a bold, new project intended to help colleges gain more control of their online course platforms, as they increasingly turned to providers like Coursera or edX. A year later some observers are wondering what the group has actually accomplished, and where the consortium is headed.

In June 2014, amid growing concern that outside companies were exerting too much influence on the branding and shaping of universities’ online course offerings, four…

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What Does ‘Personalized Learning’ Look Like? Video Series Aims to Go Beyond Hype

An education blog whose authors believe there’s too much hype around “personalized learning” technology has posted a series of video case studies about the trend, hoping to help get beyond overheated rhetoric.

The result is an unusual look at five colleges trying high-tech classroom experiments and wrestling with how new teaching methods change the role of students and teachers.

The videos were produced by the education-technology blog e-Literate, with the support of a $350,000 grant from the B…

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Another Use for Yik Yak on Campus? Cheating on Exams

YikYakAnswers

With new technologies come new ways to cheat. Yik Yak, the anonymous, location-based app that has been a hotbed of cyberbullying on college campuses, is also the newest tool for students seeking to cheat on exams.

J. Scott Christianson, an assistant teaching professor in the department of management at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has been monitoring Yik Yak recently to see what students are talking about.

When he was on the app, he saw several yaks about an exam. It looked as if a s…

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5 Ed-Tech Ideas Face The Chronicle’s Version of ‘Shark Tank’

In the TV series Shark Tank, entrepreneurs with budding companies pitch their ideas to a panel of investors who ask probing questions and then decide whether to back the proposals. The Chronicle adopted a modified version of the format during a session at the South by Southwest Edu conference in March, with a panel of experts weighing in on five new products or ideas to fix pressing problems in higher education.

True, our panel didn’t have any money to invest. But the session was fast-paced an…