5 essentials for an active learning classroom

Identified by EDUCAUSE as a top strategic technology, active learning classrooms (ALCs) go beyond just outfitting learning spaces with technology. These engaging, dynamic spaces provide new pedagogical opportunities, support active learning, and help students develop relevant skills.

In 2020, the pandemic forced rapid adoption of school-based technology within a compressed time frame. Most students now have mobile devices, while schools have been teaching in a rotation of remote, in-person, and hybrid learning models. And, more district administrators are using blended learning as they infuse technology with more flexible learning models.

The traditional classroom model has been turned on end, with the arrangement of desks and front-of-the-classroom focus becoming obsolete and unnecessary. In its place are dynamic, flexible, and mobile learning spaces that support student-centered teaching, collaboration, and engagement.…Read More

vFairs Offers Immersive Virtual Graduations to Schools and Colleges

Graduation season is rapidly approaching, and continued restrictions against social gatherings to combat the coronavirus are still in effect in much of the country. vFairs, the leading platform for hybrid and virtual events, is offering immersive, customizable virtual graduation ceremonies to schools, colleges and universities, including features such as creating a virtual campus setting and 3D modeling to make the experience truly memorable.

According to a March 2020 poll by Educause Review, 49% of colleges and universities elected to postpone their 2020 commencement ceremonies, 14% opted to cancel commencement altogether and 14% planned a virtual ceremony. Rather than hosting a live webinar or virtual conference call, vFairs makes it possible for schools to create a virtual graduation ceremony in a virtual world.

vFairs can create customized three-dimensional models of a campus, stadium or auditorium modeled after the school. For example, the vFairs platform can create virtual environments replicating your community college campus to hosting a ceremony on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The platform also can create virtual avatars of graduating students dressed in caps and gowns. The result is an immersive virtual experience that students, parents and faculty will remember.…Read More

Colleges taking a team approach to eTextbooks

Six in 10 students said in a recent survey that they forgo buying required books because textbooks are too pricey.

Reining in exorbitant textbook costs is no longer a campus-by-campus venture: A unified approach, powered by EDUCAUSE and the Internet2 consortium’s NET+ cloud-based collaborative purchasing program, could make low-cost electronic textbooks available now, ed-tech leaders hope.

Colleges experimenting with digital textbooks can take months—sometimes years—to negotiate with publishers before their school’s modest eBook program is introduced to students now paying upwards of $1,100 a year for books.…Read More

Senate rejects GOP bid to overturn net-neutrality rules

The rules bar internet service providers from favoring or discriminating against content or services that could compete with their core operations.

Senate Democrats on Nov. 10 turned back a Republican attempt to repeal federal rules designed to prevent internet service providers from discriminating against those who send content and other services over their networks.

Republicans argued that “net neutrality” rules announced by the Federal Communications Commission last December were another example of federal regulatory overreach that would stifle internet investment and innovation.…Read More

How to use higher education’s ‘new toy’: Social media

EDUCAUSE panelists encouraged attendees to search for social media staff on their own campus.
EDUCAUSE panelists encouraged attendees to search for social media staff on their own campus.

Campus technology officials in charge of social media efforts have come to a consensus: There are no social media experts, so keep experimenting with your school’s tweeting, linking, and posting until you’ve struck the right balance.

Using social media to communicate with students in the online arenas they most prefer—Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter—was a focal point at the annual EDUCAUSE conference in Anaheim, Calif., where 6,700 campus technology staff came together this week to discuss the latest in educational technology.…Read More

Year of the smart phone on college campuses?

A market analysis describes the Android as a "wild card" among smart-phone systems.
A market analysis describes the Android as a "wild card" among smart-phone systems.

An international market research firm predicts a 55-percent jump in smart-phone sales this year—a projection that could lead to an unprecedented increase in internet-enabled phone use during colleges’ 2010-11 academic year.

The mobile device market analysis, released Sept. 7 by International Data Corp. (IDC), is welcome news to researchers who have predicted a jump in smart-phone use for educational purposes, because college-aged men and women are among the likeliest to use the technology.…Read More

Ed-tech grant program aims to boost college readiness

The Educause-backed program will fund ed-tech projects designed to make high school graduates college ready.
The Educause-backed program will fund ed-tech projects designed to make high school graduates college ready.

Six months after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pumped $3.6 million into a national certification program for teachers of remedial college courses, a new initiative will dole out grants to education-technology projects aimed at improving college readiness, especially among low-income students.

The Next Gen Learning Challenges program, launched in late June and headed by nonprofit education technology supporter Educause, will aim to raise America’s high school graduation rate – which hovers around 50 percent among Hispanic, African American, and low-income students – and ensure that college freshmen are ready for higher education without having to take non-credit-bearing remedial classes.…Read More

College IT officials: Show us the money … please

Funding topped the list of IT officials' concerns as college budgets stagnate.
Funding topped the list of IT officials' concerns as college budgets stagnate.

Technology funding in higher education will remain flat or decrease for the “foreseeable future,” according to an annual education technology report released June 10, as campus IT officials said funding was their top concern over the past year.

The survey of 424 campus technology decision makers showed that administrative systems, computer security, teaching and learning with technology, identity and access management, and disaster recovery also were among the top 10 most pressing issues in campus IT.…Read More

Could net-neutrality ruling hinder online education?

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's net-neutrality and national broadband plans are in danger after an April 6 court ruling.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's net-neutrality and national broadband plans are in danger after an April 6 court ruling.

A federal court threw the future of internet regulations and U.S. broadband expansion plans into doubt April 6 with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The ruling poses a major hurdle for federal policy that school and college administrators hoped would ensure the growth of online education and make high-speed internet affordable for even the smallest school systems and campuses.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC’s authority to impose such “net neutrality” obligations on broadband providers.…Read More

Report details coming trends in campus technology

Typing on a laptop could be outdated in four or five years, according to ed-tech projections.
Typing on a laptop could be outdated in four or five years, according to ed-tech projections.

Open scholarly content will become more commonplace in higher education in the next year as online universities and textbook companies organize and harness the internet’s mass of educational material, according to a report that predicts campus technology advances within the next five years.

The 2010 Horizon Report, released this week by education technology advocacy group EDUCAUSE and the New Media Consortium, describes technological changes that will have the greatest impact on college students and faculty.…Read More