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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

High-speed internet for digital learning | The Daily Star

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION - PRIVATE UNIVERSITY OF THE FUTURE

"To realise the full potential of digital technologies high-speed internet is a basic requirement" continues The Daily Star.


According to a recent report of speedtest.net Bangladesh is ranked 120th among 122 countries in terms of mobile internet speed while the country stands at 78 among 133 countries in terms of broadband speed. This connectivity gap is seriously impeding digital learning in the country.  

To address this gap currently the government is implementing a project named BdREN (Bangladesh Research and Education Network) under Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP) with assistance from World Bank. It is a high-speed data-communications network that is dedicated to meeting the needs of the academic and research communities of both public and private sectors by bringing together institutions, scholars and libraries across the world. Educational institutions have to pay a certain amount of money to buy bandwidth from this high-speed network.
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Source: The Daily Star


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Three Reasons to Ditch Technology in Your Flipped Classroom | Faculty Focus

"What would happen if you were to arrive to your classroom, unplug the devices, turn off the projector, and step away from the PowerPoint slides … just for the day?" summarizes .

Photo: Faculty Focus

What would you and your students do in class?

This was the challenge I presented to 100 faculty members who attended my session at the Teaching Professor Conference in St. Louis this past June. The title of the session was, “Using ‘Unplugged’ Flipped Learning Activities to Engage Students.” Our mission was to get “back to the basics” and share strategies to engage students without using technology.

Why Use “Unplugged” Strategies the Flipped Classroom?
Most of the conversations about the flipped classroom include discussions about technological tools. What video recording tool should I use? What tools are best for producing a podcast? What quizzing tool should I use to assess the pre-class work?  What types of clickers should I use in class to assess learning? With all of this focus on technology, why would we want to consider flipping a class without it? Here are three reasons:

1. To focus on the process. For many faculty, the “flip” means something more than how technology is used in and out of the classroom. In my work, for example, the FLIP is when you “Focus on your Learners by Involving them in the Process.” When you FLIP, you intentionally invert the design a learning environment so students engage in activities, apply concepts, and focus on higher level learning outcomes during class time.

This definition encourages us to think strategically about the learning experiences we are designing with our students so they can achieve the learning outcomes. The focus is not the technology. It’s the process. It’s the process of involving our students in applying and analyzing course content, making decisions, critiquing a topic, or evaluating a data set. It’s the process of creating something together to demonstrate understanding or to express ideas. Sometimes technology can help with this process, but sometimes it can become a distraction which could hinder the process.
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Source: Faculty Focus


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Female leadership advances slowly in world's top universities | Times Higher Education

Photo: Ellie Bothwell
Ellie Bothwell, reporter covering university rankings, fundraising and all areas of internationalisation. Ellie also reports on higher education in North America reports, "Analysis of THE World University Rankings data shows gender gap for top job"

Martha E. Pollack became president of Cornell University in April 2017
Photo: Cornell University

Less than one-fifth of the world’s top 200 universities are led by women, according to an analysis of Times Higher Education World University Rankings data.
Just 36 – or 18 per cent – of the top 200 universities in the latest 2016-17 ranking have a female leader.

This represents a slight increase since last year when 33 (17 per cent) of the universities ranked in the top 200 of the 2015-16 ranking were led by a woman.

Sweden is once again the country with the highest proportion of female leaders; of the six Swedish institutions that make the world top 200, four are led by women.

Meanwhile, one of Belgium’s three representatives – Ghent University – and two of Switzerland’s seven-strong cohort have a female leader.

The US is home to the highest number of female presidents (12) in the analysis, largely owing to its high number of institutions in THE's top 200. But its share of female leaders at the top of the table has fallen three percentage points to 33 per cent, despite the fact that the number of US top-200 universities remained the same.

Meanwhile, six of the 36 female leaders (17 per cent) are based in the UK, including Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of the world’s highest-ranked institution, the University of Oxford.

But gender parity in the world’s two leading higher education nations is little better than the average for the entire top 200, with only 19 per cent of elite US and UK universities headed by women.

Of the 28 countries that feature in the top 200, 17 have no female university leaders.

In total, 12 universities that feature in the top 200 are new entrants since last year. Of those that have remained, 31 have new vice-chancellors or presidents.
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Recent figures published by the American Council on Education revealed that female university leaders in the US were more likely than men to be first-time college presidents (78 per cent versus 73 per cent) and had shorter tenures in their presidency than men.

Women were also more likely than men to have altered their career progression to “care for others” (32 per cent versus 16 per cent), according to the American College President Study, which surveyed 1,546 US university leaders.
Read more...

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Difficult ascent: only 15 per cent of European universities are led by women
Photo: Getty

New group aims to increase female leadership in Europe by Jack Grove, covers careers in higher education, in particular matters relating to early career academics and PhD students, for Times Higher Education.
"Despite a long history of trailblazing female academics, Europe's academy is making slow progress in promoting more women to senior roles, says lobby group." 

Source:Times Higher Education (THE)  


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Sunday, August 20, 2017

New learning portal = More screen time? | The Straits Times

"Parents worry kids may be glued to devices; experts say students can be taught to manage time" insist Calvin Yang.

Social studies teacher Tay Peiyong with his students from Admiralty Secondary School on Wednesday. The school is one of 62 where the Singapore Student Learning Space is being piloted.
ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

While parents are excited about the new e-learning platform that gives students access to a range of learning tools, they worry it will mean more screen time for their children.

The Singapore Student Learning Space, which is being piloted at 62 primary and secondary schools, will be rolled out to all schools from next year.

With the online platform, students can learn at their own pace anywhere, any time by having access to videos, games and animations that will reinforce the learning of subjects, including English, mathematics, history and even physical education.

Mr Joseph Chua, 40, who is self- employed and has an 11-year-old son, said: "Students can use these valuable resources and learn at their own pace."

But another parent, Mrs Patricia Tan, 41, worries that her 10-year- old son may end up spending too much time on devices. "They may end up fiddling with their devices even when they are not using the resources," she said.

Studies bear out her concern.

A recent one by think-tank DQ Institute and Nanyang Technological University found that 12-year-olds already spend almost 46 hours a week - or over 6½ hours daily - glued to a screen. Even nine-year- olds are spending over 24 hours a week, or about 3½hours daily, doing the same.

However, National University of Singapore lecturer Kelvin Seah believes that with the portal, students may learn to better use their screen time.
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Source: The Straits Times  


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How Advancements In AI Could Radically Change The Way Children Learn In The Classroom | Forbes - CommunityVoice

Photo: Andrew B. Raupp
"To best equip tomorrow's leaders, we must provide students with technologically rich, dynamic learning tools that emphasize critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills" summarizes Andrew B. Raupp, Founder @stemdotorg, democratizing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through sound policy globally.

Photo: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg

Advances in technology continue to change the way we live, earn a living and learn. These shifts affect not only the types of courses that college students take, but also may soon alter the very capacity of our brains’ abilities to create and store memories. The story of how technology affects the way we live and learn is one that is still being written, but we’re excited to track the ways in which the future is already happening -- in our classrooms and in our minds.

Distance Learning, Online Learning
According to a 2017 study, 30% of all enrolled higher education students take at least one distance learning course. Distance learning refers to any courses that take place fully in an online space with no in-person meetings or class requirements. Distance learning classes typically feature a blend of learning approaches, some traditional and some more innovative.

One innovative approach that’s being used in both distance learning courses as well as in-person courses is commonly referred to as online learning. Unlike distance learning, online learning does not necessarily happen far from the classroom walls; rather, online learning refers to a blended learning strategy that incorporates online learning tools into the classroom experience. 

Online learning allows students to learn in a broader range of styles instead of simply sitting and listening to an instructor. It's also the form of learning that is conducive to the advancements being made in artificial intelligence, and is arguably more effective for the needs of our modern workplace. But there are new challenges that come along with new approaches as well.
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Source: Forbes


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Chill: Robots Won’t Take All Our Jobs | WIRED

Follow on Twitter as @JamesSurowiecki
"Everyone thinks automation will take all our jobs. The evidence disagrees" says James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds and a senior story producer at VICE News Tonight.

Photo: zohar lazar. lettering by braulio amado.

Last year, the Japanese company SoftBank opened a cell phone store in Tokyo and staffed it entirely with sales associates named Pepper. This wasn’t as hard as it sounds, since all the Peppers were robots.

Humanoid robots, to be more precise, which SoftBank describes as “kindly, endearing, and surprising.” Each Pepper is equipped with three multidirectional wheels, an anticollision system, multiple sensors, a pair of arms, and a chest-mounted tablet that allows customers to enter information. Pepper can “express his own emotions” and use a 3-D camera and two HD cameras “to identify movements and recognize the emotions on the faces of his interlocutors.”

The talking bot can supposedly identify joy, sadness, anger, and surprise and determine whether a person is in a good or bad mood—abilities that Pepper’s engineers figured would make “him” an ideal personal assistant or salesperson. And sure enough, there are more than 10,000 Peppers now at work in SoftBank stores, Pizza Huts, cruise ships, homes, and elsewhere.

In a less anxious world, Pepper might come across as a cute technological novelty. But for many pundits and prognosticators, he’s a sign of something much more grave: the growing obsolescence of human workers. (Images of the doe-eyed Pepper have accompanied numerous articles with variations on the headline “robots are coming for your job.”)

Over the past few years, it has become conventional wisdom that dramatic advances in robotics and artificial intelligence have put us on the path to a jobless future. We are living in the midst of a “second machine age,” to quote the title of the influential book by MIT researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, in which routine work of all kinds—in manufacturing, sales, bookkeeping, food prep—is being automated at a steady clip, and even complex analytical jobs will be superseded before long. A widely cited 2013 study by researchers at the University of Oxford, for instance, found that nearly half of all jobs in the US were at risk of being fully automated over the next 20 years. The endgame, we’re told, is inevitable: The robots are on the march, and human labor is in retreat.
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Source: WIRED


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Friday, August 18, 2017

Digital inclusion leaves older Australians out | Talking Aged Care

"The latest results on Australia’s Digital Inclusion Index have revealed that people aged over 65 are among those scoring the lowest on digital inclusion" continues Talking Aged Care.

Photo: Pexels

Focusing on three key areas of digital inclusion: access, affordability and digital ability, not only does it see older Australians among the lowest scoring, it also shows that as older people age, their digital inclusion declines. It also reports that among older Australians, women are less digitally included.

While the Australian Government has been offering digital support for older Australians through Broadband for Seniors since 2008, National Seniors Advocate Ian Henschke says it is clear from the research that more work needs to be done to ensure older Australians are not missing out.

“The facts are quite clear – there is lots of research and data that shows that we have got issues when it comes to digital inclusion and older Australians and we have to accept the fact that it is a big problem,” Mr Henschke says.

“The over 65’s is a large group of people and something that we need to take into account is that more people are accessing services online and to have this large group of people missing out is a huge issue.
 
“It’s not just older Australians missing out and not able to be digitally inclusive, those from low-socio economic areas are impacted too which shows that this is a cost and educational issue.”

The new Be Connected program that the Australian Government announced late last year is currently in the development stages and aims to build on the framework of Broadband for Seniors to provide a family and community approach to supporting, coaching and teaching older Australians to improve their skills and confidence using digital technologies. 
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Source: Talking Aged Care


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Bhagwant University – Offering Higher Education A Special Meaning | eGov Magazine - Elets

Follow on Twitter as @IamDrAnilSingh
It is must to develop professional competence in students and faculties to use their intrinsic potential for uplift of the society, says Dr Anil Singh, Chairman, Bhagwant Group, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
 
Photo: Bhagwant University

To make students professionally competent, what strategies are being adopted by Bhagwant University in teaching-learning process?
Bhagwant University, located in Ajmer, Rajasthan, is a co-educational private university, which emphasises on practical training of students. We encourage students to organise and participate in seminars and workshops. Eminent industry leaders, professionals and esteemed professors are invited to deliberate on latest industry trends and technologies. Technical experts from reputed organisations are employed as senior faculty members to teach and guide students about core subjects, practical training and projects.

Tell us about the academic departments and researches being conducted at the university. Are there any corporate sponsored researches and courses available at the university?
Bhagwant University lays strong emphasis on the sponsored research, collaborative research funded by the national and international agencies. The institute has set up modern laboratories. Faculty members of the institute maintain strong industrial links by undertaking consultancy assignments and run short-term company specific training programmes. To achieve enhanced industrial participation in the engineering education, the institute has taken various initiatives to start the industry sponsored masters degree programmes.

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Source: eGov Magazine - Elets


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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Overview - Research Network | Dublin City University


The Digital Learning Research Network fosters a network of leaders and strong communities of practice at the forefront of research on new models of teaching and learning. 

Figure 1: Research and Innovation Framework

Additionally it aims to engage strategically with professional bodies and key external stakeholders in order to influence policy and benchmark the effective use of digital, blended and online learning against international best practices. 

The activities of the Research Network are anchored around the four main platforms of a wider Research and Innovation Framework (see Figure 1), where strong emphasis is placed on fostering Innovation and contributing to Societal impact. More specially, we try to frame our research activities and interests around the following broad research strands:
  • Life-long Learning
  • Opening Up Education
  • Student Transitions and Success
  • Curriculum Innovation and Teaching Enhancement
  • Learning Futures
The work of the Research Network also interfaces with other research centres and defined areas of interest and expertise in DCU's Institute of Education. A distributed leadership model is adopted by the Research Network to harness the skills and expertise of members. The Research Network currently includes over 50 staff with a research interest in Digital Learning and who individually and collectively have a track record of producing a wide range of scholarly outputs in the area. In this respect the Digital Learning Research Network brings together a unique mix of leading scholars and professional educators across Dublin City University (DCU), with considerable expertise in a range of levels, disciplines, methodologies and technologies. A small Steering Group guides the Network’s activities and a dedicated email listserv is used to facilitate regular communiction amongst members. We maintain links to a number of research and development centres within Dublin City University (DCU) and our International Advisory Board also helps to keep us focussed on achieving our overarching mission and strategic objectives. 


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Study Philosophy With Me In Fall 2017! | Patheos (blog) Camels With Hammers

"Year round, I enroll new students in my live, interactive, private, personalized online philosophy classes but I typically launch the most new classes in September when the most people feel like getting started. This year is no exception" says Daniel Fincke, APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor.

Photo: Patheos (blog) Camels With Hammers

Below is the full roster of classes I have tentatively scheduled to run starting in September 2017 and information on a limited time deal.

*Try out my classes for free with a no-commitment trial! Write me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com or friend me and write to me on Facebook in order to schedule one or to get to know me and keep in touch with an eye towards taking one in the future.

*Classes are $42/session, with a choice of recording or refunds for missed sessions.

*A Special Back-to-School Rate is available until September 9, 2017. The School Year Subscription costs $1,276 and covers weekly classes from September 2017 through May, 2018. At just $33.58/session for 38 sessions you save 20% savings compared to the $42 Weekly Subscription rate. To get a similar discount (22%/session) for a full year’s worth of classes purchases the Year Long Subscription for $1,699. See details on each payment plan below.

*Immediately below is a tentative list of the classes you can take with me from September 2017 onward, subject to changes to accommodate the most number of students. Click on course titles for course descriptions. Some of the classes are ongoing ones that have been running for a while already. You can join them midstream without worrying about what you missed. Others are brand new and labeled “NEW” below. Write me with your schedule and your interests if none of these class times or topics fits your interests.

I earned my PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University. I wrote my dissertation on Ethics and Nietzsche’s philosophy. Over 11 years I taught 2,500 university students spread across 93 classes from 7 universities.

Since January 2013 I have been leading self-motivated independent learners from around the world in small group and 1-on-1 classes. My small group online classes offer you live, dynamic, interactive class discussions with other students and me, held over videoconference (using Google Hangout, which downloads in just seconds). Classes are flexible enough to meet the needs of both beginners and students with existing philosophical background. Usually we read a primary or secondary philosophical text together live in class, using Google Hangout’s easy and convenient screen-share feature, and discuss it as we go. In more introductory style courses I will also overview some concepts in a traditional lecture style before opening the floor for discussion. In either case, classes wind up tailored to your specific interests, ideas, and questions related to the material as vigorous, rigorous, and potentially wide-ranging class discussions almost inevitably emerge in response to the ideas we are covering and these freewheeling discussions determine the direction of the class from there. My classes are university quality but I offer no university credit whatsoever.

I typically propose whole new classes in January, June, and September. But I also wind up starting new classes in other months when students come available then instead. I schedule all classes by learning the regular time availabilities and topic interests of potential participants and putting as many people together with classmates as possible. I run as many sections of a class as necessary to accommodate everyone. 
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Source: Camels With Hammers


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