Education Technology News

The latest education technology news and trends for college and university ed tech professionals. Looking for more in-depth coverage of important topics? Visit our feature article pages!

Campus Technology News Now Available on Alexa Devices

If you have an Alexa device such as the Amazon Echo, you can now receive the latest ed tech news as part of Alexa's Flash Briefing.

Personalized Text Messages Boost STEM Student Persistence in Community College Study

In a randomized trial this past summer, community college students in STEM fields who received personalized text message "nudges" to keep them on track stayed in school at a rate 10 percentage points higher than those who did not receive nudges. The study, a joint effort by Jobs for the Future and Persistence Plus, followed about 2,000 students at four U.S. community colleges to gauge the impact of text message communications on college completion and student success.

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.

1 in 10 Phishing E-mails Fool Users in Education Field

In a recent study, 10 percent of simulated phishing e-mails sent to users in education institutions were successful, triggering the recipient to click on a fraudulent link. That's according to the 2018 State of the Phish report from Wombat Security Technologies, in which researchers measured the average click rates on phishing tests across various industries. Education had an average click rate of 10 percent; the industries that performed worst in the tests were telecommunications and retail, with 15 percent and 14 percent average click rates, respectively. 

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.

UC San Diego Opens Outdoor Drone Test Facility

The University of California San Diego has opened a new aerodrome for research into unmanned aerial vehicles. The 2,500-square-foot outdoor facility is designed "to create a living laboratory for unmanned aerial vehicles by bringing together researchers from across campus, including computer scientists, structural, mechanical, aerospace, electrical and computer engineers and scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography," according to a UCSD news release.

PC Market Sees First Holiday Quarter Growth in 6 Years

Global shipments of PCs showed a slight year-on-year improvement in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 0.7 percent to 70.6 million sales, according to a new report.

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.

Azusa Pacific U Streamlines Financial Aid and Communication with Students

Students at Azusa Pacific University have a new tool to help them complete financial aid forms on time and communicate with administrators and counselors in the financial aid office. The school is using CampusLogic, a student financial services platform, to make it easier for students and families to complete the financial aid process, according to a news announcement.

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.

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