21st Century Teaching & Learning Resources


Global Ed Tech Investment Soars to Record High

There's never been a better time to seek funding for education technology. According to Metaari, 2017 turned out to generate the most investment dollars ever in the learning technology industry. It topped $9.5 billion globally, up from $7.3 billion in 2016, which was itself 46 percent higher than the $6.5 billion in investments made in 2015. The latest year's funding went to 813 ed tech companies, the highest ever recorded, according to the learning market research company.

Bundles and Access Codes Destroy Efforts to Cut Textbook Pricing

The practice of faculty relying on bundled textbooks and, specifically, access-code materials to provide course problem sets, quizzes, tests and case studies, has wreaked havoc with student efforts to find cheaper textbook alternatives. According to a new report from the Student PIRGs, among a sample group of schools, 45 percent of these supplemental resources were unavailable from any source other than the campus bookstore. As the report's authors noted, the use of those bundles, which exist behind paywalls, eliminates the ability of students to "shop around," which means they're "forced to pay full price for these materials." They also can't resell their textbooks because the access codes typically have expiration dates.

How to Be an Ed Tech Futurist

While no one can reliably predict the future, these four forecasting methods will help you anticipate trends and spur more collaborative thinking.

Knewton Releases $44 Adaptive Digital Textbooks

Ed tech company Knewton has launched a collection of digital courseware that integrates its adaptive technology with open education resources, with the intention of selling directly to instructors and students. Previously, the company licensed its adaptive functionality to textbook publishers for integration with their course content. Under the new strategy, the company noted, it could own "all aspects of the user experience" and "make a greater impact on outcomes and affordability." Each title in the new line costs $44 for two years of digital access.

Educators, Policymakers Say Problem Solving is Important, Not Emphasized in School

Nearly all educators and policymakers say that it's important for students to learn creative problem-solving skills in school, but approximately two-thirds say that current curricula do not emphasize creative problem solving enough, according to a new report out this week.

Chalk & Wire Launches Digital Credentialing Network

E-portfolio and assessment company Chalk and Wire today announced the launch of MyMantl, a learning recognition network that allows users to showcase their skills and credentials with verified digital badging.

Google Adds Security Features to G Suite for Education, Launches Enterprise EDU Edition

Google today took the wraps off new security features for its education productivity suite, G Suite for Education, which includes Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, Slides and a range of other tools.

University Wins out over Faculty in Latest Dispute over Outsourced Online Programs

Attempts by the faculty union at Eastern Michigan University to fight a recent agreement the institution made with online education services provider Academic Partnerships have failed. But an independent mediator warned campus officials that the university had better limit AP's services to the confines of its contract. Otherwise, faculty and administration could well find themselves back in arbitration.

Online Course Enrollment Sees Relentless Growth

According to the Babson Survey Research Group's latest annual report on distance education in the United States, online student enrollment has grown for the 14th year in a row. Nearly a million additional students took distance education courses in 2016 compared to 2012, and more than 30 percent of college students took at least one distance education course during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Google, Coursera Launch IT Support Pro Certificate with Job Hunt Support

This week Google and Coursera will officially kick off the "Google IT Support Professional Certificate," a program that offers training to people who want to enter the information technology field but lack the time and resources for a formal education. A new series of massive, open, online courses available through Coursera and developed by Google experts will train beginners and prepare them for job readiness in eight to 12 months, according to the two companies.

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