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!

Rice Joins International Credit for MOOCs Program

Rice University and 10 other institutions in Europe, Asia and Australia have agreed to be part of a three-year "Credits for MOOCs" program that allows students from the participating schools to enroll in specific free online courses from the other member schools and receive transfer credits for passing them. When it's fully up and running, the pilot effort will feature from three to 10 credit-bearing online classes from each institution for the "virtual exchange." The program, which is in its second semester for the 2017-2018 academic year, currently features 18 courses.

New Ed Challenge to Seek 'Weirdness' and Innovation in Higher Ed

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology has announced it will launch a new "Higher Education Ecosystem Challenge" that seeks "multi-sector teams to propose design concepts for a truly student-centered ecosystem." Those ideas with the most potential for improving the outcomes of students "that need postsecondary education the most" will be launched with the help of "a variety of partners."

Non-Scientific Americans Want Kids Getting into Science

More than nine in 10 respondents to a new survey consider the world a better place because of science. Almost eight in 10 consider the best days of science still to come. And two-thirds are excited about the impact of science on society in the future.

New Framework Offers Way to Validate OER Commitment, Sincerity

A new report proposes a framework by which open educational resource initiatives — and particularly those promulgated by for-profit organizations — might be measured. The CARE framework has three purposes, according to its authors: to help make sure "the O.E.R. community's values can be maintained as the movement scales"; to gauge the practices of "new entrants" to the O.E.R. field (especially those out to make money from it); and to build educator confidence in participating in O.E.R., including those who contribute their own materials and may be uncertain regarding its use by for-profit publishers.

Microsoft Co-Founder Invests in Pursuit for AI Common Sense

Paul Allen has committed $125 million over three years to support the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and to launch "Project Alexandria," a new research initiative to explore "common sense artificial intelligence." Allen is, of course, the co-founder of Microsoft and a philanthropist known most recently for investing in efforts to discover the underwater wreckage of American naval ships sunk during WWII.

More than Half of U.S. Employees Fear Losing Their Job to Robots

According to a new national survey from MindEdge Learning, 52 percent of employees in the United States are concerned about losing their jobs to robotics, artificial intelligence and automation. The edtech firm polled 1,000 management-level workers across a variety of industries, including technology, manufacturing, financial services and healthcare, about the rise of robots and AI in the workplace and the skills workers will need to remain secure in their careers.

Upcoming Events, Webinars & Calls for Papers (Week of March 5, 2018)

Upcoming events include the Innovations Conference, Digital Signage Expo 2018, University Innovation Alliance National Summit, SANS 2018, O.L.C. Innovate and the A.A.C.C. 98th Annual Convention.

Coursera More than Doubles Number of Degrees on Its Platform

Online education platform vendor Coursera has announced six new online degrees with major universities, more than doubling the number of degrees offered on its platform. The new degree programs, all expected to launch later this year or in 2019, will bring the number of programs offered on the platform to 10.

New U Virginia Lab to Study Smart Cities, Autonomous Vehicles and More

A little over two years after the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science announced an initiative to build a lab that brought researchers and faculty from across the school together to work on projects involving both the cyber and physical realms, the university has opened its $4.8 million, 17,000-square-foot facility. The "Link Lab," as it's called, currently focuses on projects in three areas: smart cities, smart health and autonomous vehicles and robots.

New APLU Center to Tackle Public University Transformation

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has launched a new national Center for Public University Transformation. The initiative will bring together a hundred public research universities organized in clusters to identify, refine and scale innovative practices to increase the number of four-year degree holders over the next seven years. The institutions that participate will share key data within the clusters and help to propagate the practices across higher ed.

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