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!

Taskstream, Tk20, LiveText Combine to Launch New Company

Three assessment management vendors have joined forces to launch Watermark, a new provider of assessment software for higher education. The new company, which comes out of the mergers of Taskstream, Tk20 and LiveText last year, offers products for assessment and accreditation planning, learning outcomes measurement, and e-portfolios and student assessment.

MIT's Poverty Action Lab Launches Ed Tech Competition

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab North America has launched the Education, Technology and Opportunity Innovation Competition in an effort to identify effective technology use and provide examples of how learning can be improved through innovation. The competition asks school networks, education agencies, nonprofits and post-secondary institutions to evaluate their education programs based on technology, especially those focused on disadvantaged students.

Upcoming Events, Webinars & Calls for Papers (Week of Jan. 29, 2018)

Upcoming events include the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference, eLearning 2018, T.D.W.I. Las Vegas Conference, Innovations Conference, and Digital Signage Expo 2018.

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.

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.

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.

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