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!

Volunteers Step in with NMC Horizon Report Alternative

In the wake of the New Media Consortium's bankruptcy and an uncertain future for the organization's "Horizon" reports, a new initiative undertaken by a group of volunteers aims to provide an alternative forum for forecasting the future of technology in education. The "Future of Education & Everything Community" (FOECast) is kicking off this week with a set of activities intended to capture ideas from people worldwide.

MIT Researchers Aim to Bring Neural Nets to Smartphones

Neural networks have been behind many advancements in AI in recent years, underpinning systems designed to recognize speech or individual faces, among others. But neural nets are also large and power hungry, making them poor candidates to run on personal devices such as smartphones, and forcing apps that rely on neural nets to upload data to a server for processing. But researchers at M.I.T. are working on a new kind of computer chip that might change that. The new chip improves the speed of neural-network computation by three to seven times and reduces energy consumption by 94 to 95 percent, according to the research team.

Print Management Software Updated to Cover Fab Lab Gear Too

A new version of software intended to help organizations manage all of their printers now connects with specialty services as well, including 3D printers and CNC machines that may be located in maker or fabrication labs. PaperCut MF version 18 includes a new job ticketing capability that enables printing service operators at schools and colleges to accept specialty and 3D printing job submissions, such as laser cutting and prototype creation. The program enables the operator to track those jobs through the production process while also communicating work status to the requester.

Survey: For Students Focused on Cost, Quality Takes a Back Seat

Affordability is a driving factor in deciding where to go to college for many students, according to Eduventures' annual Survey of Admitted Students. The survey compiles responses from more than 100,000 high school students recently admitted to colleges and universities, in an effort to help enrollment officers better understand student decision-making and improve the yield of the incoming class.

College-Level Cybersecurity Ed Gets Formal Makeover

A two-year effort to develop curriculum guidelines for cybersecurity education will officially be released this week, two months after a report with the details was published by a joint task force. "Cybersecurity Curricula 2017" will be introduced on February 22nd at the Annual ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education meeting taking place in Baltimore. At the same time a new "community engagement website" will also be launched.

IMS Global Updates Caliper Analytics Standard

The IMS Global Learning Consortium has announced Caliper Analytics v1.1, the latest version of its interoperability standard for learning data, designed to foster an open ecosystem for educational data and analytics.

AP CS Principles Most Successful Launch to Date; Has Become a 'Mission' for College Board

A recent computer science addition to the College Board's Advanced Placement course offerings has seen wild success decades after the non-profit originally introduced the subject in its college-level high school offerings.

Four in 10 Top Websites Are Dangerous

Four in 10 of the top websites pose dangers to their visitors. According to cybersecurity vendor Menlo Security, out of the top 100,000 websites as ranked by Alexa, 42 percent are "risky." A risky website is any site where either the homepage or an associated background site is running vulnerable software; the site is known to distribute malware or launch attacks; or the site has already suffered a security breach in the past 12 months.

Online Initiative Not the Answer to STEM Gaps in California

A proposed budget by California's governor would allocate $10 million to set up a new online "intersegmental" higher education initiative. The project would fund competitive grants for intersegmental teams of faculty to create new and redesign existing STEM courses — both online and hybrid — in a program titled the "California Education Learning Lab." While the Legislative Analyst's Office found Governor Brown's goal of improving student outcomes "laudable," this approach isn't the answer, the office wrote in an analysis of the proposal. First, the analysis noted, the proposal doesn't address "the root causes of STEM disparities among student groups"; and second, it overlaps with other online initiatives already underway.

Carroll U Lands $1 Million for STEM Retention Program

A project at Carroll University is working to improve retention for STEM students, thanks to a $1 million award from the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics grant program. The grant-winning project, "Carroll University Pro-STEM Initiative: Promoting STEM Retention through Self-Efficacy," is designed to provide academic and financial support for students majoring in STEM fields, especially if they are required to take calculus, in an effort to improve retention. Approximately 128 students majoring in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biochemistry or applied physics will receive scholarships as a result of the award, accounting for about $660,000 in grant funds.

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