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!


Upcoming Events, Webinars & Calls for Papers (Week of April 9, 2018)

Upcoming events include O.L.C. Innovate, the A.A.C.C. 98th Annual Convention and the U.S.D.L.A. 2018 National Conference.

Even the Mere Presence of a Smartphone Makes You Dumber

A joint research project at several universities found that the "persistent presence" of smartphones comes at a "cognitive cost." Researchers in the schools of management at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, San Diego as well as the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon ran two experiments to attempt to measure how well people finish tasks when their smartphones are nearby — even if the phones aren't in use.

California Community Colleges Mass-Producing Student Makers

Six months after the official launch of a $17 million makerspace initiative, California community colleges are mass-producing student makers. The "CCC Maker Initiative" has funded makerspaces in 24 campuses with the intent of offering educational activities that will help students prepare for their careers. Each college received implementation grants of between $100,000 and $350,000, renewable for a second year.

CampusLogic Opens U Arizona's Scholarship Universe to Other Schools

A homegrown student scholarship management application has spread its wings beyond the institution that originally developed it. Scholarship Universe, launched at the University of Arizona, has been rewritten from scratch and updated by Campus Logic for use in other schools. The product helps match students with potential scholarship opportunities and manage their applications; the new version is mobile-friendly and offers text notifications.



Microsoft AI Gives Deaf RIT Students Auto-Captioning Boost in Lecture Presentations

The Rochester Institute of Technology is one of nine colleges to pilot the use of an artificial intelligence-powered speech and language technology that Microsoft has produced. Microsoft's Translator for Education provides the intelligence behind Presentation Translator, a Microsoft "garage project" that breaks down the language barrier by letting users offer continually updated subtitled presentations from PowerPoint. As the presenter speaks in one of 10 supported languages, the add-in generates subtitles directly under the presentation in any of 60 different text languages.

Carnegie Mellon Releases Design for Sub-$500 Bioprinter under Creative Commons License

In addition to improvements in cost, the device reportedly allows for larger-scale printing and greater precision than many commercially available bioprinters. The team released its research under a Creative Commons license to encourage others to build their own as well.

16 Schools Receive Grant to Build Active Learning Classrooms

This summer, 16 institutions across K-12 and higher education will receive furniture, design, installation and on-site training for a new active learning classroom, thanks to Steelcase Education's fourth annual Active Learning Center Grant. Valued at about $67,000 per classroom, the grant "supports active learning strategies in classrooms where teachers are already striving to implement related practices by installing a learning space with furniture designed to encourage student engagement and success," according to a news announcement.

When Learning Matches Work and Life, Students Appreciate Their Education More

A new survey of consumers found that the more tied their college courses are to their work and daily lives, the greater they believe they've received a "high-quality education" that was worth the cost. Among respondents to a Strada Education Network and Gallup survey, those who "strongly" agreed that the courses they took are directly relevant to what they do at work and that they learned important skills during their education that come in useful day-to-day were nearly three times more likely to strongly agree that they had received a high-quality education, compared to those who strongly disagreed. And the same group was five and a half times more likely to strongly agree education was worth the cost, compared to those who strongly disagreed.

SUNY Upgrades Library Tech in 61 Campus Libraries

The State University of New York is replacing its disparate library systems with technology from Ex Libris. The company's Alma library services platform and Primo discovery and delivery solution will be implemented at 61 libraries across the university system.

Ohio Consortium Textbook Deals to Save Students Nearly $40 Million a Year

Students in the state of Ohio could potentially save $39.7 million annually on the cost of their textbooks, thanks to a new wholesale pricing deal. OhioLINK, a consortium of academic libraries across the state's colleges and universities, has secured agreements with four major textbook publishers — John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson and Macmillan Learning — to reduce the wholesale price of e-textbooks by up to 80 percent and courseware by up to 55 percent for member institutions.

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