News Feature | September 3, 2014

Education IT News For VARs — September 3, 2014

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Education IT News For VARs

In education news this week, an infographic outlines trends and challenges of online learning.  Also, the USC education dean talks about how university expanded its distance learning program, and a new messaging app is available for teachers, students, and parents.

Trends And Challenges Shaping Online Learning

This infographic, available at Education Dive, outlines the trends and challenges shaping online learning. One point the infographic makes is that decision-making for online programs is increasingly being centralized to higher levels of administration and is being driven by a desire to better manage risk, efficiency, and quality.  Also, the infographic provides a reminder that schools need to approach online students differently than traditional learners.

USC Education Dean: 2U Made Growing Our Program Possible

This interview with Education Dive shows how USC was able to expand its online Master of Arts in Teaching program offered via 2U, explains the structure of student teaching in a distance learning environment, and highlights the upcoming doctorate Rossier plans to launch on the platform. The online master’s program now has students in 47 states, with graduates now working in 16 countries — effectively achieving the school’s mission of improving learning locally, nationally, and globally.

Remind Messaging App for Education, Adds Stamps, Real-Time Feedback for Teachers

This article from Market Wired discusses the unveiling of Remind version 4.2 of its mobile messaging app for teachers, students, and parents on Thursday, bringing with it a new “Stamps” feature. The Stamps feature allows real-time feedback, allowing, for example, teachers to question or quiz students, keep track of attendance on trips, or take votes. Additionally, messages can now be “starred” by students and parents.

Is Digital Curriculum The Future Of Education?

This Yahoo news article discusses former New York City education chancellor and current Amplify CEO Joel Klein’s appearance on “CBS This Morning,” where he explained the importance of digital curriculum. Klein was promoting the benefits of Amplify’s tech and online curriculum, which informs teachers on a student’s progress and, in turn, enforces data-driven instruction.  Klein acknowledged that technology in classrooms has also had some stumbling blocks, like in Los Angeles, where the nation's largest iPad deployment has been placed on hold.

Education IT Talking Points

This article from the New York Times investigates how students are building apps using data provided for course selections and other uses, and colleges and universities are increasingly addressing them. Some higher education institutions are reacting by trying to shut down the student efforts, while others are collaborating with the app creators or even paying them, according to the New York Times. The apps are forcing schools to consider questions about data ownership, as well as the unintended consequences of making data available to students.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Education IT Resource Center.