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!


Ed Index Compiles Higher Ed Data for Research, Reporting

A non-partisan, nonprofit think tank has produced an online resource where people can access and download data on U.S. higher education for use in research, reporting and public access. New America's new Higher Ed Index pulls data at the institution level from three federal sources: the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, the Federal Student Aid Data Center and the College Scorecard. The data can be viewed over time at the institution, state and national levels and can be filtered by dozens of categories.

New Jersey REN Adding Amazon Web Services

A research and education network in New Jersey has signed a deal with Amazon to offer that company's web services to its members at reduced prices. Institutions, schools and districts that are members of N.J. Edge will be able to connect directly through the state's fiber connections run by N.J. Edge or create new ones through AWS Direct Connect, putting them, "one hop away" from Amazon's web services, according to N.J. Edge C.E.O. and President Samuel Conn.

Amazon Releases New Guidance on AWS and FERPA

More than two years after issuing guidance on FERPA compliance and Amazon Web Services, Amazon has updated the whitepaper to lay out the company's "shared responsibility model" and give specific guidance on 24 different AWS services.

Starfish Enterprise Platform Adds View into Community Data

A new capability in Hobsons' Starfish Enterprise Success Platform will allow Starfish users to browse interventions from other colleges or universities, helping generate new ideas for their own student success efforts. The company made the announcement during Achieving the Dream's annual conference.



Getting General Ed Credits 'Out of the Way' at Community Colleges Is Lousy Advice

Getting general ed requirements "out of the way" by going to a community college may be among the worst advice people could give to new students because it could result in them earning many more credits than they need, hampering their efforts to get over the four-year finish line. As a working paper published by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College noted, previous research found that only about 60 percent of community college students were able to transfer most of their credits to the four-year institution; and another 15 percent were "hardly able to transfer any of their credits." As a result, their chances of earning a bachelor's degree shrank, and the cost and time required to earn their degrees rose.

Expect Challenges with Online Programs with Repeal of Net Neutrality

The disregard for net neutrality voted into reality by current White House appointees may inspire commercial internet service providers to charge colleges and universities more to deliver their bandwidth-hungry videos, simulations and interactive programs to students. That would add additional pressure to fiscal management of online programs, according to a new report by U.S. higher education consultancy Hanover Research. Other challenges outlined in the report include shrinking enrollment; skepticism on the value of higher ed; and unsustainable tuition strategies.

ACE and Credly Building Transcript for Digital Credentials

The American Council on Education and Credly have announced the intention to create a digital "working transcript." Funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Lumina Foundation, the initiative will build a process for recording the outcomes of training programs as discrete competencies, which will be usable as portable, digital, verified credentials. The project will also involve creation of a machine-readable official transcript of on-the-job skills that can be shared with colleges and universities and employers as verified résumés of knowledge, skills and abilities.

College Risk-Reward Index Flags High-Debt Schools

According to LendEDU, a marketplace for student loans and student loan refinancing, six in 10 college graduates will "walk away from campus with diplomas in one hand and student loan debt in the other." The company recently released its annual college risk-reward index, which ranks higher education institutions based on graduates' early career pay versus student debt. The average debt for the class of 2016 was $27,975, the company noted.

More Frequent, Intensive Advising Cranks up Student Engagement

A new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin found that students who get more time in advising with more in-depth discussions during their advising sessions are more engaged in community college. The center surveyed about 180,000 students at 297 colleges around the country to study the impact of advising on retention and engagement.

Survey: In an AI World, Retraining Will Come from Employers, Not Higher Ed

Seventy-six percent of respondents in a recent survey "agree" or "strongly agree" that artificial intelligence "will fundamentally change" the way we live and work over the next decade, according to Northeastern University and Gallup researchers. A majority among employed respondents agreed that they'll need more training to get a new job at an equivalent salary. Given a list of retraining options, the largest number (49 percent) would look to employers for on-the-job training.

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