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Friday, July 21, 2017

A Starter Kit for Instructional Designers | EdSurge - Postsecondary Learning

Follow on Twitter as @amyahearn11
"A 2016 report funded by the Gates Foundation found that in the U.S. alone, there are 13,000 instructional designers. Yet, when I graduated from college in 2008, I didn’t know this field existed. Surely a lot has changed!" inform Amy Ahearn, Online Learning Manager for +Acumen and a graduate of Stanford’s Learning, Design and Technology Masters program.

Photo: EdSurge

Instructional design is experiencing a renaissance. As online course platforms proliferate, institutions of all shapes and sizes realize that they’ll need to translate content into digital forms. Designing online learning experiences is essential to training employees, mobilizing customers, serving students, building marketing channels, and sustaining business models.

The field has deep roots in distance education, human computer interaction, and visual design. But I’ve come to believe that contemporary instructional design sits at the intersection of three core disciplines: learning science, human-centered design, and digital marketing. It requires a deep respect for the pedagogical practices that teachers have honed for decades, balanced with fluency in today’s digital tools.

Most people with “instructional design” in their job title are involved in converting “traditional” written curriculum or in-person teaching into an online course. But they can also be creating learning apps, museum exhibits, or the latest educational toy. My classmates from Stanford’s Learning Design and Technology master’s program have gone on to design for big brands like Airbnb and Google as well as edtech upstarts including the African Leadership University, General Assembly, Osmo and Udacity.

Over the last few years, we’ve traded resources, articles and work samples as we try to build our own starter kit for this fast-moving field. Below are some of the lessons and resources that I wish I knew of when I first went on the job market—a combination of the academic texts you read in school along with practical tools that have been essential to practicing instructional design in the real world. This is not a complete or evergreen list, but hopefully it’s a helpful start. 

Source: EdSurge

Are Aussie businesses still struggling with digital strategies? | ARNnet

Photo: Hafizad Osman
"A new study by Pure Storage suggests they might be" reports Hafizah Osman (ARN).

Photo: ARNnet

It is no surprise that digital transformation is rapidly being adopted across businesses in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), especially with emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning leading the charge.

But a closer look into the strategies behind digital show business uncertainties, according to findings of a study by Pure Storage.

In the study, Pure Storage revealed that digital transformation is reaching a tipping point across the region, with 57 per cent of businesses across A/NZ, and 46 per cent of businesses across the Asia Pacific and Japan region, now deriving more than half their revenue from digital streams.

The independent survey which polled more than 3,000 organisations in Asia-Pacific and Japan and 500 in A/NZ, also found that 52 per cent of businesses in A/NZ are looking to digital services to drive faster innovation, while 44 per cent said digital services can help them determine new potential business models.

But against this digital gold rush, businesses across A/NZ are still unsure about the optimal IT strategy that underpins their move to digital, and who is responsible for it, it stated.

Specifically, companies in A/NZ are on the fence about cloud – 50 per cent of businesses polled said they plan to move their business critical workloads to public cloud in the next 18 to 24 months, with the rest planning to adopt private cloud solutions.

In addition, it found that 34 per cent of A/NZ enterprises have moved workloads from public cloud back to on-premises, with the biggest concern against public cloud use being security (57 per cent of respondents). 

Pure Storage A/NZ regional vice-president, Mike Sakalas, said local enterprises are learning that if they want to build out a new class of web-scale applications and leverage the latest in predictive analytics, AI, and machine learning, they need the right data strategy and platform.

“Australian and New Zealand businesses have faced a colossal shift in infrastructure in light of digital transformation over the last few years. 

Source: ARNnet

Thursday, July 20, 2017

AI, analytics accelerate pace of digital workplace transformation | Digital News Asia

  • The number one barrier to successful adoption of new workstyles is IT issues
  • Business leaders and CIOs are switched on to the importance of mobility in the digital workplace

Photo: Digital News Asia

"NEW research which examined how organisations are evolving from a traditional office environment to a digital workplace reveals that gaining competitive advantage and improving business process are among the top goals of their digital transformation strategy" says Digital News Asia.

This is according to 40% of 800 organisations in 15 countries on five continents that were interviewed for Dimension Data’s Digital Workplace Report: Transforming Your Business which was published today.

Another insight in the Report is that digital transformation is not just about adopting the technologies of the past: 62% of research participants expect to have technology such as virtual advisors in their organisations within the next two years.

In addition, 58% expect to start actively investing in technology that powers virtual advisors in the next two years.

Today, the digital workplace is no longer just made up of managers and those managed; co-workers collaborating with one another to complete projects; and employees interacting with customers and partners. It’s increasingly populated by ‘virtual employees’ who do not exist in a physical sense, but nonetheless play an important role in the organisation.

While artificial intelligence (AI) technology is still in its infancy, it is sufficiently advanced to be working its way into companies in the form of virtual assistants, and, in certain industries such as banking, virtual tellers and virtual advisors.

Manifested as bots embedded into specific applications, virtual assistants draw on AI engines and machine learning technology to respond to basic queries.

Photo:  Kane Steele
“It’s no longer enough to simply implement these technologies,” says End-user Computing general manager Kane Steele.

“Organisations have grown their use of analytics to understand how these technologies impact their business performance:  64% use analytics to improve their customer services, and 58% use analytics to benchmark their workplace technologies.”

Meanwhile, around 30% of organisations said they’re far along in their digital transformation initiatives and are already reaping the benefits, while others are still in the early stages of developing a plan.

Source: Digital News Asia

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Heretics! And the dangerous beginnings of modern science in glorious graphic detail | Deutsche Welle - Science

"If you think scientists have it bad today, spare a thought for the early philosophers - some even got burnt for heresy, argues Steven Nadler, William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy and Evjue-Bascom Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Ben Nadler, graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and an illustrator.

Philosophy Professor Steven Nadler (right) and his son Ben Nadler, an illustrator living in Chicago, are pictured with Ben’s childhood drawing desk at Steven’s home in Madison.
Photo: Bryce Richter, UW-Madison

DW: A major theme, I found, in your book "Heretics!" was thinking differently. It's an illustrated, graphic, history of philosophers and the early scientists and the risks many of them faced because they dared to think differently. And it starts with a very stark image of a philosopher being burnt, having been sentenced to death. It really sets a tone. Why did you choose to start there?  

The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy
By Steven Nadler & Ben Nadler - Princeton University Press

Steven Nadler: We started there because it represents what was at stake for a lot of these thinkers. The notion of danger is very relative - what's dangerous in one century or place might not be so dangerous in the other. And our message is not really that the idea of thinking, or engaging philosophically and scientifically in the 17th Century was dangerous per se. Even the idea that science and philosophy, on the one hand, and religion on the other were diametrically opposed in this period - that, too, is an old myth.

The church, for example, was very supportive of a good deal of scientific research. They only stepped in when the conclusions of that research, or the thinking, clashed with dogmas of the Catholic faith, or seemed inconsistent with what the Bible proclaimed to be true.

I thought it was a good place to start the book to put these thinkers in a religious and historical context. And because the century starts with this very dramatic event of the burning of Giordano Bruno - which was, essentially, for ideas deemed heretical - but it wasn't so much that we wanted to set that as the tone for the book, but rather to show that originality and creativity in philosophy required a certain kind of courage.

It seems a constant battle though between faith and science, seeking to explain natural phenomena through empirical reason or some higher being. And I find parts of that history hard to compute. At one point you recall how Baruch Spinoza said [words to the effect] that "miracles are just natural events for which we have yet to discover the natural cause," and I feel an underlying reliance on faith there, even if it's a faith in nature, and that's confusing.

Well, Spinoza, or even René Descartes, most of these thinkers - whether they were religious or not, and some of them were very religious - saw that putting religious or theological restrictions on philosophy and science … there was a moral price to pay for that, that somehow our well-being, our social and technological progress was dependent upon understanding, knowledge and a kind of wisdom. It's a very old Socratic notion. And placing restrictions on philosophizing by non-rational, or irrational, dogmas of faith puts progress at risk. Descartes and [Gottfried Wilhelm von] Leibniz, and especially [Isaac] Newton, were fairly devout or pious individuals, and they did not intend in any way to undermine religion. They were respectful of theological authority. But at the same time they thought that human well-being depended upon this independent and creative use of our natural faculties. And that meant trying to understand the world wherever that might take them.

Additional resources 
Father-son team brings philosophers to graphic life in ‘Heretics!’  by College of Letters & Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Source: Deutsche Welle

Place-Based Learning at Teaching the Hudson Valley’s Summer Institute | Chronogram

"The annual Teaching the Hudson Valley summer institute will be held this year on July 25-27 with the theme of Building Community with Place-Based Learning" inform Hillary Harvey, Kids & Family Editor for Chronogram Magazine.

Tashae Smith on her African American History Tour of Newburgh. She will present a workshop, Out of Washington’s Shadow: Creating an African-American History Tour of Newburgh, with Colin Morris, professor of history, Manhattanville College at this year's Teaching the Hudson Valley summer institute.

"About a month before he won the 1932 presidential election, Dutchess County’s own Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, “Knowledge – that is, education in its true sense – is our best protection against unreasoning prejudice and panic-making fear, whether engendered by special interests, illiberal minorities or panic-stricken leaders.” He was expressing the philosophy that education is about preparing citizens for public engagement–one that’s been challenged in recent years by a competing philosophy that education is about preparing workers for a competitive marketplace. But it’s FDR’s thinking about education, and a current movement to return to civil discourse, that has inspired the teachers and educators who planned this year’s Teaching the Hudson Valley institute. Building Community with Place-Based Learning will be held July 25- 27 at the Henry Wallace Education and Visitor Center on the grounds of the Franklin Roosevelt Home and Presidential Library in Hyde Park and sites throughout the Valley. 

In 1996, Congress designated the Hudson River Valley a National Heritage Area in order to recognize, preserve, protect, and interpret its nationally significant cultural, historic, and natural resources. Launched in 2003, Teaching the Hudson Valley is one of the programs designed to help carry out the purpose of the Heritage Area. THV helps educators discover, appreciate, and share the region’s treasures with children and youth, and fosters collaboration between schools, museums, parks, historic sites, art galleries, libraries, and other groups through free K-12 lesson plans, grant programs to aid with place-based learning oporunities, and the annual summer institute, which offers rare opportunities for school and informal educators to meet and exchange ideas.

Place-based learning aspires to ground curriculum in the attributes of the Hudson Valley, using local, regional, and community places, resources, systems, and themes as a context for learning...

Teaching the Hudson Valley’s annual summer institute, Building Community with Place-Based Learning: Tuesday, July 25, 9a-4p or 4:30p (depending on last workshop choice), and Thursday, July 27, 9a-4:15p, choose up to three workshop sessions to be held at the FDR Home and Library in Hyde Park. See the full schedule. Wednesday, July 26, choose one of four field experiences: 9a-5p Building Community in Kingston: History, Art & Environment in City Neighborhoods; 9:15a-3:30p Great Newburgh History Adventure: A How-To Field Experience; 10a-4p Hidden Treasures of Science & History in the Lower Hudson Valley; 9:30-3:30p Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley: Building Bridges to Build Community. See field experience descriptions and logistical info. Fees, including some meals, are $125 for all three days, $85 for two days, and $45 for a single day.  
Register here.  

Source: Chronogram

Philosopher of the month: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel [timeline] | OUPblog

"This July, the OUP Philosophy team honors Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) as their Philosopher of the Month notes Catherine Pugh, Marketing Assistant at Oxford University Press in Oxford, England and John Priest, Marketing Assistant at Oxford University Press in New York.  

Portrait by Jakob Schlesinger dated 1831, the
year of Hegel's death.

Photo: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although Hegel was a hugely successful philosopher in his own right–described as “the most famous modern philosopher” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe–his legacy remains the influence he had on later philosophers. A huge proportion of critical theory philosophers acknowledge his influence, with most major positions from the last 150 years having been developed in response to Hegelian thought, including Marxism, existentialism, pragmatism, and many more. 

Born in Stuttgart, Hegel studied theology and philosophy at the theological seminary in Tübingen where he became close friends with Friedrich Wilhelm von Schelling (1775-1854). Schelling did not have the lasting impact of Hegel, but during Hegel’s early years Schelling was a much larger name in the discipline. Not only did Hegel’s early work The Difference Between Fichte’s and Schelling’s Systems of Philosophy (1801) discuss his friend’s ideas, but so too did the preface of Hegel’s first major publication, the monumental henomenology of Spirit (1807). This work follows the historical and logical process of the mind reaching its final goal of being free and fully self-conscious. It has been described as one of the most influential philosophical works ever written, and famously includes the master and slave example of freedom and self-consciousness which Karl Marx used when relating capitalists to workers. Marx also took inspiration from Hegel’s Science of Logic volumes (1812-1816) for his theory of dialectical materialism.

Source: OUPblog (blog) 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Learning institutions struggling to support students’ digital needs: study | The Nation - Business - Economy

"Digitalisation means the education sector is undergoing deep transformation, but many schools, colleges and universities are struggling to keep pace with this change, according to a new report from Fujitsu" says The Nation. 

The company said the report provides “unique insights” into the state of digital education globally and is based on a survey of over 600 IT leaders in schools, colleges and universities across seven countries.

While educational institutions have high aspirations for using digital solutions to make learning more personalised, interactive and collaborative, many told Fujitsu they are slowed down by the complexity of the task, hindered by old IT systems and frustrated by a lack of resources. 
Read more...  

Source: The Nation

The benefits of digital journaling | SmartBrief

"Tips for using digital journals to boost reading comprehension" reports Francesca Perrone-Britt, fifth-grade teacher at Mort Elementary School in the Hillsborough County Public School district of Tampa, Florida. She can be reached at
Photo: Pixabay

Journaling is a great way to measure students’ reading comprehension. When I first began teaching seven years ago, I had students record their thoughts about what they read in traditional composition books. It was simple and effective.

We recently transitioned to a digital format and it’s been a positive experience. Our school uses digital-library software myON for reading and journaling. Here are the benefits I’ve seen:

More meaningful responses
Today’s students are digital natives. They grew up with a device in their hands. As such, when they record their reflections in their journals, they are comfortable and their responses are more thoughtful and meaningful.

Personalized goals
My class and I use the dashboard in myON to make groups based on the students’ literacy goals. Those who wish to focus on reading fluency or vocabulary can personalize their project to reflect that and emphasize those skills in their journal responses.

Source: SmartBrief 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Suggested Books of the Week 28

Check these books out below by Jim Willis, writer, artist, and advocate, Northeastern University, College of Professionals Studies and Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education, Student-centered, tech-rich innovative learning. 


Ancient Gods: Lost Histories, Hidden Truths, and the Conspiracy of Where do we come from?

Ancient Gods:
Lost Histories, Hidden Truths,
and the Conspiracy of Silence
What are the origins of modern civilization? Do the world's pyramids, the Nazca Lines, Easter Island statues, and other enigmatic structures, archaeological wonders, and geographic anomalies contain evidence of ancient gods?

Sifting through the historical and archaeological evidence, Ancient Gods: Lost Histories, Hidden Truths, and the Conspiracy of Silence probes the myths, stories, history, and facts of ancient civilizations, lost technologies, past catastrophes, archetypal astronauts, and bygone religions to tease out the truth of our distant past and modern existence. It takes and in-depth look at the facts, fictions, and controversies of our ancestors, origins, who we are as a people—and who might have come before us. It tackles more than 60 nagging stories of ancient gods, ancestors, alien visitors, theories and explanations, including: 

• Why did our ancestors crawl deep underground and paint on cave walls?
• How did the megalithic temple site called Göbekli Tepe come to be built—11,600 years before the agricultural revolution?
• How were massive stones, weighing tons, dragged miles to build Stonehenge?
• Who—and why—were pyramids built on the equatorial band circling the earth?
• What secrets does modern DNA analysis reveal mankind's heritage?
• Are we to believe the Ancient Alien Theory?
• And more! 

Read more... 

Doctorate in Law & Policy: Real Impact, Real Results 

Download now
The Doctorate of Law and Policy program brochure provides you with detailed information about this prestigious program from Northeastern University. Find out if this program is right for you by learning more about the flexible class format, the distinguished faculty, current students, the admissions process, and doctoral thesis. 

Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners.

Online Learning
Between monthly intensive sessions in Boston, learning and interactions continue online. Faculty members conduct lectures, lead discussions, and post readings and assignments online.  


To learn more about Northeastern University, you can visit their website. 
Read more... 

Photo: Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education
Check out with a few of the folks here at the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education to hear about what they’re reading this summer by Audrey Homan, Digital Content Manager at Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education.   

Source: Ancient Origins, TradePub and The Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Your Online Students Aren’t Paying Attention! | eCampus Resources

  • Learn how to make your students actually pay attention in their online STEM courses 
  • Explore how you can use the Möbius Active Slideshow to offer an online learning experience that emulates, and even improves upon, a good classroom environment

Check this out from Maplesoft.

Download Now
Online courses are a part of the changing education landscape, but many students find it hard to focus. Discover technology and tools that engage students, meet their needs with a tailored experience and motivate them to pay attention to their online courses.

"Online courses have become a key part of the instructional offerings of most learning institutions, from prestigious universities to local high schools. They allow students greater scheduling flexibility, reach a broader geographic pool, and reduce costs. Schools today have to offer online courses and supplementary resources to stay competitive.  But the fact remains – these courses can be really dull " writes Maplesoft in the whitepaper.

In this whitepaper, you will learn how Möbius, and especially the Möbius Active Slideshow, provides the same experience students would get with a good instructor, with the additional benefit that each student receives a tailored experience based on their individual needs. With high levels of engagement, relevant interactivity, and integrated instant assessment, your students will be forced to sit up and pay attention to their online courses (and learn something in the process!).
Download Now

Source: eCampus Resources and Maplesoft

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Syracuse University named a top performer for women in STEM online degree programs | The Daily Orange

"Syracuse was named a top college for women pursuing online STEM degrees. This rating came from the SR Education Group, which evaluates colleges and universities online degree programs based on factors such as academic support and cost" inform Julia Murray, Contributing Writer. 
The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University recruits girls and young women to get them acquainted in STEM programs.
Photo: Courtesy of SU Photo and Imaging Center

Syracuse University was recently named a top college for women pursuing online degrees in science, technology, engineering and math by the SR Education Group.

SR Education Group researched and rated 285 schools across the nation and published a list of the 64 top performers. SU’s ranking was not directly stated, but it did not place within the top 15 schools, according to the ratings.

SR Education Group evaluates college and university online degree programs based on factors such as academic support and cost.

The group publishes its findings on the website OnlineU, and the ratings are placed into categories based on major as well as type — including Christian colleges, LGBTQ friendly, disability friendly, military friendly and women studying STEM.

Representatives from SR Education Group could not be reached for comment on this article.

“The reason they have lists like this out there is because women are historically underrepresented in STEM fields, just on like a societal level, so the college has really adopted this responsibility,” said Matt Wheeler, communications manager of SU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Both the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Information Studies contribute to Syracuse’s top ranking, as the two schools continually look to recruit women into the field early.

The College of Engineering targets girls at a middle school level, right about the time they might start to think they don’t belong in STEM fields, Wheeler said.

The iSchool has similar recruitment techniques, but starts even younger.

“We bring in young girls and try to make them comfortable in a college and IT setting,” said Victoria Williams, director of online education at the iSchool.

Community outreach also contributes to recruitment of women to SU’s STEM programs. The iSchool’s foundation in online and distance learning was laid 25 years ago, Williams said.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science, meanwhile, developed an online engineering program within the past year. Rick DiRubbo, director of online learning at the college, said the percentage of female students in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s online program was higher than anticipated when he was at Whitman.

DiRubbo said it was due to the flexibility of the online format, which makes the program easier for mothers with young children to participate. He said he hopes to see the same percentages for women in the online engineering program.

SU’s women recruitment isn’t only online. The university has recruited women students and faculty to STEM programs on campus throughout the past two decades. In 1996, SU professors started the Women in Science and Engineering program that increased efforts for recruitment and mentoring and initiated a campus-wide lecture series.

Source: The Daily Orange

Imparting education to the underprivileged through digital means | eGov Magazine - Elets

Sudipta Mandal, a class V student from Jnyanodamoyee High School shares her experience, “The audio - video presentation has been a first time experience for me. 

The subject becomes so easy to follow when presented on a large screen. Since the inception of English Lab, I have improved my vocabulary and grammatical sense. It has also helped me a lot in using a computer device”. Sudipta is one of the beneficiaries of mjunction’s flagship School Integration Programme (SIP) and English Lab for the past few months.

Through the activities of mjunction under the Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), various district schools have been reaping the benefits for its students.

With an aim to impart digital literacy to the underprivileged sections of the society, mjunction launched their flagship School Integration Programme (SIP) back in 2015. The programme has been specifically designed for implementation at the grass-root level, targeting those areas where resource and infrastructure is scarce.

The programme is in line with the Central Government’s mission of skilling 40 crore people by 2022. The employment of skilled labour force will make India a “Human Resource Capital”.

mjunction services limited, a b2b e-Commerce company, has been providing educational opportunities to the underprivileged sections of society. The CSR activities are mainly done via SIP (School Integration Program) and English Lab with the help of ejunction, a trust promoted by mjunction.

Stanford Machine Learning Group, Digital Health Company Develop Deep Learning Algorithm | Healthcare Informatics

Photo: Rajiv Leventhal
"The Stanford Machine Learning Group, along with digital health company iRhythm Technologies, have developed a deep learning algorithm for the detection and diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms" says Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor of Healthcare Informatics.

Stanford researchers say their algorithm could bring quick, accurate diagnoses of heart arrhythmias to people without ready access to cardiologists via Video by Kurt Hickman

According to officials, the algorithm is capable of expert level detection of 14 cardiac output classes, including 12 arrhythmias as well as sinus rhythm and noise from artifact. The collaboration leveraged the iRhythm data science and clinical teams’ knowledge in electrocardiogram (ECG) analysis, as well as iRhythm’s ECG data set to produce an arrhythmia detection algorithm.

Because deep learning models are dependent upon vast amounts of reliable data, the company provided an annotated data set of about 30,000 unique patients, 500 times larger than standards-based databases utilized in previous studies, officials noted. This enabled the Stanford researchers, in collaboration with iRhythm machine learning specialist Masoumeh Haghpanahi, Ph.D., to develop the 34-layer convolutional neural network, comparable to artificial intelligence (AI) models used in computer vision and speech recognition, officials stated...

The Stanford Statistical Machine Learning Group is a blend of faculty, students, and post-docs spanning AI, systems, theory, and statistics. “The group’s work spans the spectrum from answering deep, foundational questions in the theory of machine learning to building practical large-scale machine learning algorithms which are widely used in industry,” it states. 

Source: Healthcare Informatics

Inside Digital Learning: 7 Guidelines for Online Course Development | Inside Digital Learning

"Four authors of books about online course development offer guidelines for engaging learners in distance education courses." continues Inside Digital Learning.

"Inside Digital Learning asked four authors of books about online education for their expert advice on how instructors and their institutions can excel in virtual course instruction. The authors agreed that the online classroom is different enough from the traditional one that faculty members and adjuncts need to create courses for digital delivery that are substantially different from those they teach on campus. And they said teaching online requires an even keener focus on student engagement than the face-to-face model does.

“Years ago, we used to say the danger of online courses was they were just going to become electronic correspondence courses,” said Rita-Marie Conrad, who along with Judith V. Boettcher, wrote The Online Teaching Survival Guide. “That’s still a danger. As each new wave of instructors comes into this environment, there’s still that misunderstanding that this is a new environment.”

However, institutions and professors should be encouraging residential students to take classes online. “[Colleges] don’t provide an online experience to every undergraduate student, but we’re doing them a disservice,” said Elliot King, co-author of Best Practices in Online Program Development and the upcoming Best Practices in Planning Strategically for Online Education.

More and more, employers are offering professional development courses online, he noted. “Learning online is different from face-to-face, and [graduates] won’t have any experience. If the college wants students to be lifelong learners, give them the opportunity to” take virtual courses."
In addition to Conrad, Boettcher and Elliott, Inside Digital Learning spoke with Marjorie Vai, author of Essentials of Online Course Design and editor of Routledge’s Essentials of Online Learning series. 

Here are the authors’ top tips for creating engaging and successful online education:

Make It a Group Effort
Even an instructor who has taught the same course dozens of times in an on-campus classroom will spend many extra hours figuring out how to teach it online, said Conrad, a lecturer at University of California, Berkeley. So colleges and universities should offer them some sort of compensation, like a lighter teaching load the first semester or extra pay.
Read more... 

Source: Inside Digital Learning 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New schools app brings statistics to parents' fingertips | Visalia Times-Delta

Calley Cederlof, Education Reporter notes, "California Department of Education created a smartphone app with information on the state's schools.

The CA Schools mobile app, created by California Department of Education, allows users to access information about the state's more than 10,000 schools.
Photo: Calley Cederlof

These days, technology is as influential in the classroom as textbooks, pencils and paper. 

Local educators use laptops, iPads, and smartboards to take learning to the next level. At home, students use websites to complete lessons and parents can view grades and check in with teachers. 

To provide even more information at the touch of a finger, California Department of Education created a smartphone application with data on the states more than 10,000 public schools.

The CA Schools mobile app allows users to locate nearby schools based on their current location and provides a wealth of details, including contacts and directions, demographics, test scores, and a school’s California School Dashboard profile page.

“Never before have we put so much school information literally in the hands of our students, parents, and community members and made the information so accessible and user-friendly,” said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent. “Home buyers can check out schools in their prospective neighborhoods. Parents heading to a child's away game can map directions to the host school. There are all kinds of potential uses.”

For more information, visit
Read more... 

Source: Visalia Times-Delta

Bright Young Collectors: Edwin D. Rose | Fine Books & Collections Magazine

Photo: Nate Pedersen
Our Bright Young Collectors series continues today with Edwin D. Rose of Cambridge, England, who collects natural history and natural philosophy, summarizes Nate Pedersen, librarian, historian, and writer in Oregon.

Photo: Fine Books & Collections Magazine

Where are you from / where do you live?
I am originally from Cardiff (Wales) and now live in Cambridge, UK.

What do you study at University?
I am currently a PhD student in the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Cambridge. My research is on the relationship between natural history collections and libraries during the period between c.1740 and 1830. Before this, I completed an MPhil. in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, with a thesis looking at the botanical collections of Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), part of which has recently been published in The Journal of the History of Collections.

Please introduce us to your book collection.  What areas do you collect in?
I collect natural history and natural philosophy books (a field which became known as ‘science’ by the late nineteenth century) which date from the late seventeenth century to the third quarter of the nineteenth century, although the majority of these date from the period between 1750 and 1820. My main interests are in natural history, in particular those books which relate to my research. A central line of my collecting relates to the provenance and the subject of a book, not necessarily its state of preservation or completeness. I have a particular interest in working copies of books owned by important natural historians and natural philosophers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many of my books have distinct signs of being heavily used by former owners, resulting in many of them being in a fairly poor level of condition, especially as many of these are still held in their original publishers’ bindings.

How many books are in your collection?
I currently have 116 books in my collection.

What was the first book you bought for your collection?
Photo: Fine Books & Collections Magazine
The first book I purchased was the fifth and sixth volumes from a six volume set, R. Brookes, A New and Accurate System of Natural History (London, J. Newbery, 1763). These classify both fossils and plants and reflect the relative controversies the Linnaean system of naming and classifying nature awoke in Britain during the 1760s. These books contain a number of copper plates, including one which names a fossilised bone ‘Scrotum Humanum’, as a joke to mock Linnaean binomial naming practices.  
Read more...  

Source: Fine Books & Collections Magazine (blog)

The debt stigma – how trainers can help | TrainingZone - Deliver - Training

Photo: Heidi Allan
"There is a stigma in UK workplaces that employers are rarely tackling, but must" notes  Heidi Allan, Head of Insights and Engagement - Neyber.

It focuses on the vast levels of debt that millions of UK employees are carrying and which is shown, through mounting evidence, to have a debilitating impact on an employee’s wellbeing, their work and, as a consequence, a businesses’ overall productivity.

Open communication and education are the first steps
In my mind, debt - and the stigma that surrounds it - must come front and centre in workplace education, helping it to be discussed more openly so that individuals understand the support they can get and that they aren’t alone. It’s similar to the great strides that have been taken in UK workplaces about mental health.

Open conversation is helping individuals, as well as enlightening others, so it doesn’t need to be a well-hidden, painful secret.

Debt impacts millions of individuals, across pay-level, gender, age and regions. When you consider the number of individuals who are worried in some way about their finances, the impact on a company’s productivity is eye-watering.

In a recent independent survey conducted by Neyber, entitled The DNA of Financial Wellbeing 2017, 54% of employers feel that the effect of poor financial wellbeing has a negative impact on employee behaviour at work.

56% feel it impacts job performance, 54% feel it impacts relationships at work and 51% feel it impacts relationships with management...

How can training help? 
The good news is that 82% of employers believe that employee financial health is important to the organisation.

And 17% say they will be focusing on the financial wellbeing of their workforce. This means they could be offering affordable finance and savings tools, as well as offering sound financial guidance, perhaps through an online hub.

Face to face training is also valuable. For it to work effectively, it needs to be available to all and should be titled as positively as possible to encourage attendance. Even the word ‘training’ can be perceived as slightly negative as it implies someone isn’t able to do something or isn’t doing it well.

‘Knowledge building’ or similar resonates better and is seen as more positive.

Workshops can be given internally, but they must come across as helpful and not pushing any product or agenda.

Third-party delivery can often achieve better results as it is independent and the delivery teams don’t know the employees personally, which means delegates can be prompted to open up more.
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Source: TrainingZone