To The Cloud

Originally posted on edtechdigest.com:

When transitioning to the cloud, don’t neglect data backup and recovery.

GUEST COLUMN | by Chris Gleeson

CREDIT U MarylandLike many academic institutions, the University of Maryland has been moving its operations to the cloud at a feverish pace. From small rural high schools to major universities, the benefits of the cloud are immense. At its foundation, the cloud empowers better collaboration across departments and between faculty and students while lowering overall IT costs. But there is one critical aspect of moving to the cloud that can be easily overlooked – instilling the proper data backup and restore solution. And this oversight can be catastrophic.

Backing up (no pun intended) for a minute, I want to share some thoughts about how my department at the University of Maryland, the Robert H. Smith School of Business, transitioned to the cloud recently, beginning with our adoption of Google Apps. The decision to do so…

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What Factors Will Have the Greatest Impact on the Future of Higher Education?

The MOOC Hype Fades, in 3 Charts

February 5, 2015 by  – Wired Campus

Few people would now be willing to argue that massive open online courses are the future of higher education. The percentage of institutions offering a MOOC seems to be leveling off, at around 14 percent, while suspicions persist that MOOCs will not generate money or reduce costs for universities—and are not, in fact, sustainable.

The latest figures come from the Babson Survey Research Group’s annual survey, which was based on a 2014 survey of more than 2,800 academic leaders and was released on Thursday. The survey, which has tracked opinions about online education for more than a decade, started asking academic leaders about MOOCs in 2012, when free online courses seemed poised to disrupt the walled gardens of elite college instruction.

Back then, 28 percent of respondents believed MOOCs were sustainable, while 26 percent thought they were not. In this year’s survey, 16 percent believe MOOCs are sustainable, while 51 percent think they are not.

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Sustainability is in the eye of the benefactor, of course. Some institutions can afford to lose money fielding a free online course. Only 6 percent of respondents at colleges that offer MOOCs said their primary objective was to either “generate income” or “explore cost reductions.” More often they wanted to use the courses to increase institutional visibility and drive recruitment.

What this means is that academic leaders seem to understand that any returns on their investment in free online courses will be indirect and possibly hard to quantify. They also seem to be at peace with the fact that MOOCs will not curb college costs, which they pegged as the most important issue driving the future of higher education. Self-directed learning, a central feature of MOOCs, ranked as the least important issue out of the six Babson asked about.

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One supposed benefit of experimenting with MOOCs is that doing so might produce new insights about online teaching and learning, especially for institutions that do not already offer courses online. That was the primary motivation of about a fifth of institutions that offer MOOCs, according to the Babson survey.

And yet academic leaders in general have become skeptical that colleges need MOOCs to teach them about online learning. Asked in 2012 if they thought the free online courses were “important for institutions to learn about online pedagogy,” 50 percent agreed and 19 percent disagreed. Now only 28 percent agree, and 37 percent disagree.

MOOCS3http://cf.datawrapper.de/jkpjW/8/

Those findings may not come as much of a surprise. The MOOC hype has been flagging since mid-2013, when it started becoming clear that this particular breed of online course would not transform the economics of mainstream higher education. The conventional wisdom now is that free online courses offer a promising recruiting tool and an interesting (but not essential) research tool for colleges that can afford the upkeep, while also nudging more-conservative institutions to finally start integrating online coursework into the curriculum.

How Cloud Computing is Empowering Educational Institutions

The use of technology in education industry has given flexibility and mobility to learning. Cloud computing in education is one of the consequences of technology in education.  It is an attractive and cost-saving scheme for school to make learning easy for their students.

Here is an amazing infographic originally published by Crucial.com and republished by EdTech Review that explains who is empowering the educational institutions with cloud services and what are its benefits.

Who is empowering the STUDENTS?

Cloud-Computing-in-Education-Infographic

How @SyracuseU and Other Universities Are Adapting to the #IoT Revolution

By Adam Popescu

George Bernard Shaw once said, “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” The tongue-in-cheek phrase is a common insult in academia, but when it comes to advances in the field of the Internet of Things (IoT), it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The academic world is in many ways leading the way in innovation – both in the classroom and through research.

To Arif Ansari, associate professor of clinical data sciences and operations at the University of Southern California (USC), this shift couldn’t come soon enough. “The United States faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep data analytics skills, and 1.5 million managers and analysts to make business decisions based on their findings,” said Ansari.

Syr

To help bridge that gap, Ansari put together an undergraduate class addressing big data and analytics at the Marshall School of Business at USC. He’s trying to lead and shape the minds of young students and notes “there is more work to be done, and it is being implemented.”

Similar innovation is going on at Syracuse University in New York, where students and faculty have been researching machine-to-machine (M2M) communication for the past decade. The school is supported by the National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation program, and is at work on the Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed project.

“More than 100 partner campuses, companies and communities have been engaged in the efforts, which have led to a number of patented innovations, new companies and diverse novel applications,” explained Lee W. McKnight, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Syracuse. Those applications include a social radio, which debuted at TEDxHarlem, as well as “cloud to edge” services, or what McKnight describes as “edgeware.”

“What will be most useful is the ability to combine several of these disciplines and to create rapid prototypes of new things,” noted Kelly Lux, McKnight’s colleague and the School of Information Studies’ director of social media. “We are not just following industry trends,” clarified McKnight, an outspoken advocate for IoT. “Students and faculty are actively experimenting with a wide variety of new IoT and M2M applications and open specifications.”

Also at Syracuse, Dan Pacheco, a chair in journalism innovation in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, teaches a tech for new media course. He’s working with students on using Arduino microcontrollers and sensors to “measure everything from air quality to temperature,” he says. “When you connect the Arduino to the Internet, it can upload data to a database so that others can see it and compare to their own data. These citizen sensor networks provide an alternative to government-reported data sources,” he says.

Initiatives like those at USC and Syracuse demonstrate the opportunities that can be forged when academia works to keep pace with industry. Far from reinforcing Shaw’s famous dictum, they offer a welcome opportunity to rewrite it – just in time for the IoT age.

Adam Popescu is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in the BBC, Fast Company, Mashable, LA Weekly, Marketplace Radio, and Los Angeles Magazine.

Image Credit: John Marino/Flickr Creative Commons

The Evolution of Learning Technologies

The Evolution of Learning Technologies
The Evolution of Learning Technologies | Open Colleges

Tech Corner: Engaging Students in a Whole New Way: Cornell’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences’ New Technology Has Students Chatting

Originally posted on EACE Blog:

EACE Blog contribution by Nadia Dovi, Assistant Director, Cornell University’s Engineering Co-op & Career Services

Students receive A LOT of emails, an overwhelming number, really.  I didn’t realize this until I found a lost cellphone on campus and opened the email inbox to try to identify the owner.  I must have scrolled through 20+ messages from various Cornell listservs before finding a personal email.  In a recent survey, 25% of our students reported receiving 10-15 university-related emails on a given day.  And while we’d like to think that students spend considerable time reading our painstakingly crafted, time-sensitive, “high priority” emails, the reality is, they aren’t.  Students don’t read their emails, at least, not all of them.  Recently, one of our students admitted that when he wakes up in the morning, he opens his email and marks all of his messages as read without reading a single one!

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Broadband Equivalent to Those Elsewhere Will Benefit STUDENTS

Published on Jan 13, 2015

President Obama speaks on the need for affordable high-speed broadband for all Americans, and how certain small cities and towns are taking steps to lay a foundation for broadband access that rivals the most connected cites in the world.

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