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Why Elearning Will Grow In Higher Ed In 2019

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Last year, eLearning Inside News predicted that eLearning would have a strong year.  In 2018, key drivers cited included growing student demand, changing faculty attitudes, and a surge in the global eLearning market. eLearning Inside is predicting that 2019 will be another strong year for eLearning in higher ed. While some of the factors driving the continued popularity of online learning at the postsecondary level remain constant, a few new factors appear likely to further drive eLearning in higher ed in 2019.

Five Drivers of eLearning in Higher Ed in 2019

Five Drivers of eLearning in Higher Ed in 2019

Non-Profit Universities Are Warming Up to For-Profit Partnerships

While resistance to for-profit education remains high among many faculty and administrators in the postsecondary sector, especially at public non-profit institutions, over the past year, a growing number of colleges and universities have teamed up with for-profit education companies. In the process, like it or not, the landscape of higher education is changing. Although some recent partnerships have proven highly fraught (e.g., the controversial launch of Purdue Global, which is Purdue University’s revamped version of the for-profit entity once known as Kaplan), other partnerships seem to be launching with little controversy at all (e.g., 2U’s recently announced partnership with Yale University).

Online Degrees Now Include More Ivy Options

From MIT to Harvard to the University of Pennsylvania, over the past year, more Ivy-league options have appeared in the online sector. For example, Harvard Extension School (HES) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently announced a collaboration that will offer learners a chance to pursue a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) degree at HES after completing

MITx MicroMasters credential. The new program will focus on students currently pursuing MicroMasters credentials in management, sustainability, or development practice. Prior to the current collaboration with Harvard, however, students could already use their  MITx MicroMasters as a stepping stone to complete a graduate degree at MIT. In July 2018, the University of Pennsylvania announced plans to launch an online master’s degree in computer science in collaboration with Coursera.

The Global eLearning Market Continues to Expand

While the eLearning market in the United States certainly continues to do very well, the global market is also taking off. As recently reported on eLearning Inside, Cape Town, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur, and Sao Paulo currently rank among the world’s top-20 tech hubs, but the Indian market is especially promising at this time. A recent study by Google and KPMG, for example, predicts that India’s online education market will grow to USD 1.96 billion and include around 9.6 million users by 2021. The study, “Online Education in India: 2021,” further predicts that while reskilling is currently the largest edtech market in India, by 2021, both the K-12 and test prep markets will dominate. Africa is another market where eLearning continues to take off, though, in some parts of Africa, Internet access remains an obstacle.

Students Are Demanding Cost-Effective Alternatives

A 2017 report by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve found that 53 percent of U.S. students who completed at least a bachelor’s degree acquired some debt in the process. In 2016-2017, the mean level of reported debt was $32,731, and as expected, those with graduate degrees were especially likely to report carrying debt. It is no surprise then that online degrees are increasingly being seen as an attractive alternative to full-time on-campus study. One notable program is the MITx MicroMasters. In this two-part program, students first complete a series of five to six courses for just over $10o0. By contrast, a full year in the same program on the MIT campus costs $74,000. Students who complete their coursework and pass the required exam or exams at the end of the MITx program have the option of completing their master’s on the MIT campus in just one semester–an option that dramatically reduces the cost of doing a graduate degree at MIT. But MIT is not alone in offering students affordable alternatives. Georgia Tech, the University of Pennsylvania, and a host of other universities are now rolling out high-quality online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that enable students to complete their educations for a fraction of the cost of studying on campus.

The 60-Year Curriculum Is Here to Stay

In today’s disrupted economy, life-long learning is no longer just for ambitious up killers. To survive in today’s economy, everyone will need to reskill on an ongoing basis. The idea of the “60-year curriculum” captures this shift. As Dean Hunt Lambert of the Harvard Extension School recently observed, moving forward, “You’re going to have to continue your education, not just skills development, but real knowledge learning over as long as sixty years.” The most viable way to do this, of course, is by shifting one’s learning from the traditional classroom to online programs. Indeed, Harvard University’s recent decision to partner with MITx reflects just such changing attitudes toward continuing education and online education.

 

posted Jan 8 in EdTech by Khemara

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Staying on top of new developments in the eLearning and edtech fields can be a challenge. As new technologies create new opportunities, the field continues to evolve. But whatever your connection to the industry, it is important to be aware of best practices and new developments.  Twice a year, eLearning Inside recommends five upcoming conferences exploring best practices in the eLearning and edtech fields. While some of these upcoming events focus exclusively on training, others target educators working in the K-12 or higher education fields, and some target individuals working on both sides of the online learning spectrum.

Ed-tech

Five Upcoming eLearning Conferences

ATD TechKnowledge Conference, February 6-8, West Palm Beach

This year’s TechKnowledge Conference is scheduled to take place in sunny West Palm Beach in early February. This year’s conference will cover a wide range of cutting-edge topics, including augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, microlearning, and adaptive learning. The ATD TechKnowledge Conference features tracks in eLearning, mobile learning, technology strategy, platforms, gaming, trending technologies, and virtual classrooms. This year’s keynotes include Segway inventor Dean Kamen, and Shaili Chopra, founder of SheThePeople TV, which is India’s largest platform dedicated to sharing stories about women. For more information, visit the ATD TechKnowledge Conference site.

Learning Solutions Conference and Expo, March 26-28, Orlando

Another annual favourite is Learning Solutions, which will take place from March 26-28 in Orlando.  Learning Solutions Conference & Expo is a forum for proven strategies, technologies, and practices that work in learning and development. As the organizers emphasize, “Whether you’re a one-person shop or part of a larger team, starting out or a seasoned expert, this year’s program offers learning experiences built just for you.” Find registration details here

ICELW, June 12-14, New York City

Every year the International Conference on eLearning in the Workplace (ICELW) takes place on the Columbia University campus in June. This year’s dates are June 12-14, and as in the past, conference organizer, Dr David Guralnick, has an exciting program planned. Keynotes will include Dr Meredith Broussard, Assistant Professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University. Broussard is the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. To discover more about ICELW, see eLearning Inside‘s 2018 coverage and explore ICELW’s online archive of proceedings from past events. To register for this year’s conference visit the ICELW website.

International Society for Technology in Education 2019, June 23-26, Philadelphia

Another upcoming eLearning conference is the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in late June. ISTE is a nonprofit organization that works to accelerate the use of technology to solve educational problems and drive innovation. Global in focus, the ISTE has members from around the world, and every June, they meet to share best practices. This year’s ISTE Conference & Expo will take place in Philadelphia from June 23-26 and promises to be just as exciting as it has been in previous years. More details can be found on the ISTE Conference site.

Realities360 Conference & Expo, June 25-27, San Jose, CA

Now in its third year, Realities360 Conference & Expo explores immersive technologies to create new and exciting learning experiences. This year’s conference will focus exclusively on the strategies and opportunities of virtual and augmented reality with sessions, workshops, products, and services targeting the needs of the learning and development industry. The conference will be held June 25 – 27 in San Jose. For more information, visit the 2018 Realities360 website.

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According to a Northeastern University/Gallup poll, most Americans are optimistic about artificial intelligence’s (AI) impact on their futures while, at the same time, expecting the net effect of AI to be an overall reduction in jobs. If we manage AI effectively, I believe it can be a net benefit to both society and the economy.

Is AI (Artificial Intelligence) a game-changer for higher Education?

The question is: How will higher education manage AI?

Unfortunately, higher education does not have a reputation for managing change effectively. Our experience is much more one of coming late to the party—and not of our own accord. We cannot and should not do this with AI.

First, much of the expertise to develop AI is coming from university laboratories, with AI hot spots in university centres such as Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and the Research Triangle of North Carolina. If we can develop AI for businesses at home and abroad, why can’t we do the same for ourselves?

Second, many creative applications of AI have already been developed to solve problems within the university. Certainly, enrollment-management processes, as well as today’s learning management systems, look nothing like those of 20 years ago. These changes are clear applications of AI. At the end of the day, however, the application of AI within the university is quite limited.

Where are the higher-ed AI opportunities?

To find opportunities for AI growth within the university, we need to distinguish between activities that are uniquely human as opposed to those that can be computerized. Individuals excel at defining problems, distinguishing between “good” and “bad,” at idiosyncratic tasks such as detecting false positives, and in developing novel combinations not anticipated by previous experience. Computers excel at tasks that involve well-understood rules and procedures.

Furthermore, human decision making is enhanced when it occurs in groups. Social facilitation, cooperation, division of labour and the collecting of different perspectives, knowledge, and experience all combine to enhance decision making by groups.

Of course, neither individuals nor groups are without their problems. Individuals can be slow and inefficient in their decision making, to say nothing of the limits a single individual’s knowledge and experience. Likewise, groups can be guilty of premature closure, becoming too risky or too conservative because of preconceived expectations and groupthink. Much of the work of organizational psychology has focused on how to manage individual and group decision making so as to keep the good and minimize the bad.

Thus, if AI is seen not as a way to replace the individual but as a way to make individuals and groups more effective, both the impact of AI and its acceptance will be greatly improved. Today, augmented reality has greater potential for changing how we do things in higher education. Interesting examples of this concept can be found in the business world, where AI is used to facilitate human fraud detectors for banks and human translators and editors in publishing.

How can this distinction yield applications within higher education?

While MOOCs have not yielded the disruptions that many expected, they have had a significant impact on the way we deliver course materials. Lectures on most introductory topics are readily available on the web and the push for flipped classrooms is ubiquitous. These applications facilitate what individual instructors do.

Where AI can make its mark

The real impact on learning can come through learning management systems (LMSs). We have known for quite a while that we can use technology to manage classroom participation. There is much research, including my own, that shows that anonymous input systems, when added to regular or online classrooms, increase the participation of individuals who would normally shy away from raising their hands or volunteering comments.

Applications are being developed to use AI to track student questions asked in a class and direct them to answers and to other students with the same questions. The Minerva Project is so convinced of the power of such technology that class discussions occur only online—despite students living together in the same building.

Furthermore, the massive amount of data generated by LMSs has the potential to increase the effectiveness of learning. Researchers at a school where I previously worked used data on students’ online participation to identify within the first two weeks of a class which students were likely to perform poorly. They were then able to change these students’ participation patterns and thus their outcomes.

Getting faculty buy-in
The question, however, is whether such applications will be embraced by the faculty members who fear that change will result in their demise. And at their core, many faculty members believe that learning is a uniquely individual process. Until professors see AI as a means of enhancing their effectiveness, resistance will continue.

Disruptors are on the horizon. The entrance of Arizona State and Purdue into the online marketplace is significant. MBA programs are ripe for disruption; most business school deans expect the part-time MBA market to shift to online delivery in the next five years. These online platforms will accelerate the shift to AI-managed learning.

The future for AI within the university is bright. Applications will proliferate and finally disrupt the teaching paradigm. The danger is for institutions that come late to the party and not of their own accord.

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What are the top trends in ed tech?

Dive brief:

  • The use of big data or cloud computing and the expansive and unpredictable inroads made by online learning were among the most important changes in higher education brought on by technology, according to a review of trends by Educause as it celebrated its 20-year anniversary. 

  • According to a report from EdTech, Educause asked IT experts about “the most significant moments of the past, the most promising trends of the future and everything in between.”

  • The experts said data analytics were being used in very different ways at institutions, and that it had become critical in many aspects of college operations, including recruitment, measuring student success and fundraising. Cloud computing has also dramatically changed how colleges operate, they said, and willingness to make IT a key part of operations has had a significant impact.

 

Dive Insight:

Experts have noted that colleges acquire abundant data, as the Educause report suggests, but should coordinate the compilation and use of it better. They are, however, finding new uses for it, including in admissions recruitment and monitoring student activity to predict dropouts.

With regard to cloud computing, while Educause notes it has benefited higher education institutions, some are concerned that it may be more costly than expected.

The effect of online courses is regularly reported and seen as both an opportunity and challenge to higher education, and survey respondents say institutions are making a mistake if they don’t become involved.

Other experts surveyed felt technology allowed students the tools they need to succeed in a technically savvy workplace, even providing training opportunities through virtual and augmented reality that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

A common theme, according to EdTech, was the need for higher education to find ways to adapt to the changes that technology brings.

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For years, YouTube has been a major platform for educational experiences around the world. Many teachers and professors upload their lectures to the platform. Edtech companies use it to show off their latest products. And more importantly, people with unique knowledge routinely use it to educate learners on specific subjects. It’s no surprise, therefore, that many are using it to learn about learning. There are numerous edtech- and eLearning-focused YouTube channels. The following mark a few of our favourites. 

14 Edtech Youtube Channels To Watch In 2019

Edtech YouTube Channels

ISTE

When it comes to edtech-focused YouTube channels, the International Society for Technology in Education is a good place to start. ISTE functions as a premier membership organization produces the most widely recognized document for standards of technological education, and hosts one of the most popular edtech annual conferences. 

They’ve been YouTubing since 2010, and their videos run the edtech gamut. Their library includes many short videos made by edtech experts on some of the most cogent edtech topics of the day, like OER, mobile devices in the classroom, AI, and personalized learning. They also upload keynote speeches from their annual event, videos supporting their standards, and much more. 

The Edtech Podcast

After launching in February of 2016, The Edtech Podcast is currently on episode #133 and counting. If podcasts are not part of your daily routine, their YouTube channel uploads every episode in video form and also includes footage of the various live shows they record. 

Created and hosted by the U.K.-based Sophie Bailey, the podcast frequently features discussions of emerging edtech and classroom implementation with guests ranging from CEOs to experienced teachers. Before launching the podcast, Bailey worked as head of content at Bett, the annual U.K. trade show and conference.

Ed on Edtech

For most people, education is a specifically local affair. While we have access to educators and learners from around the world, we still go online from the same computer in the same environment with the same technology and data infrastructure day in and day out. 

Dr Edward Tse, therefore, decided that he would go and check out how edtech is deployed in classrooms and other environments around the world. 

Mr Tompkins Ed Tech

The creator knew simply as ‘Mr. Tompkins’ has worked in the past as a math and computer science teacher in the U.K. He knows focuses his energy on ICT Strategic Development at the university level. A tech agnostic, he is both a Microsoft Certified Educator, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and an Apple Teacher. 

Mr Tompkins’ videos are primarily math-related how-tos incorporating the various tools his various tech company certifiers have developed.

E-Learning Uncovered

The product of Artisan E-Learning, this channel is intended primarily for eLearning developers and edtech instructional designers. That said, you don’t need to be writing software from scratch to benefit from these videos. Many, such as ‘Tips for creating Great Sounding Audio in Audacity,’ or ‘Photoshop for Learning: Taking the First Steps,’ target a more general audience and everyday teachers who might be looking to add some flare or polish to their lessons. 

GeoGebra

One of the most powerful and popular math tools on the planet, GeoGebra’s YouTube channel is dedicated almost exclusively to videos explaining the various uses of their software and apps. If you haven’t heard of GeoGebra before, be sure to check out their new AR math simulator along with the 3 part interview we conducted with COO and CFO Stephen Jull earlier this year. 

eLearning Brothers

eLearning Brothers is a company based out of Utah that creates custom eLearning modules, templates, and conducts training as well. Their YouTube channel is fairly wide-ranging and includes short videos by eLearning experts on specific topics, webinars, how-tos, and more. Occasionally they also run a series of instructional videos on their own products as well and often feature work created using their own library of templates.

Texas Instruments Education

When most people hear eLearning or edtech, they don’t immediately think about calculators. Texas Instruments’ YouTube channel, however, has a huge library detailing the advanced math that is possible on their machines. The channel also contains several other videos, such as AP and SAT math test prep, videos from their annual conference, broad discussions of STEM education, webinars, and even a how-to on grant writing. While some might consider calculators a hold over from the 20th century, T.I.’s YouTube channel is decidedly current.

AdobeELearning

Any creative person using digital technology has likely used or considered using some of the software created by Adobe. Many schools provide access to their Creative Suite. This YouTube channel, however, provides a home for educators and instructional designers using their Captivate software and eLearning Suite. These products allow users to author their own eLearning modules and lessons without the hard coding. 

Their videos are almost entirely focused on these Adobe products, but they’re also highly engaging and occasionally hilarious. 

TED-Ed

While TED talks, and especially their franchised TEDx analogues, have devolved in the past several years from amazing perspectives from niche experts around the world to frequent instances of humble bragging, oversimplification, and advertorial-style self-promotion, the TED-Ed YouTube channel is relatively free of these negative qualities. 

These well-produced animated videos can both teach learners about tech or also act as course supplements and good introductory material. Some, like ‘What’s a smartphone made of?’ or ‘How exactly does binary code work?’ could fall into both categories. No videos contain any instances of Bono (literally) pretending to be Jesus

Edtech Conferences

In addition to the channels listed above, many annual edtech, eLearning, and education-focused conferences also regularly update their own channels, often uploading videos of full keynote speeches, workshops, and more. We’ve listed a few of our favourites below. 

SXSW EDU

Possibly the premiere North American tech conference, SXSW EDU throws up most of their typically hour-long talks. While the conference goes far beyond education technology, there’s a good amount of tech in the mix as well. 

ASU + GSV

Arizona State University and the self-described ‘modern merchant bank’ that is Global Silicon Valley might sound like strange bedfellows. Their annual conference goes even further beyond edtech than SXSW EDU, but they also bring together some of the most interesting and innovative education-focused technologists and venture capitalists in the world. 

NY EDTECH WEEK

While the 2018 NY Edtech Week got bumped to June of 2019, the conference notably uploads the pitches startups make to investors, which make for interesting watches/listens. They also upload most talks delivered over the course of the event. 

EdTech Israel

Now in its fourth year, EdTech Israel brings together Israeli tech startups and companies for a two-day event. 

Many more excellent tech conferences put up a couple of videos, but don’t create their own channels. Many others don’t (but should) upload any content from their events. (We’re looking at you ICELW). 

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Augmented data analysis, blended digital tools and connected networks will reign among technology innovations in the coming year, according to IT analyst group Gartner’s top 10 tech trends of 2019

“The top ten digital technology trends are all about building the intelligent digital mesh,” says David W. Cearley, distinguished vice president and analyst for Gartner. “It’s the convergence of all of this and using it to support a continuous innovation process.”

School districts have already seen some of these tools enter the educational space, with innovations such as AI-enabled teaching assistant programs and advanced data collection and analysis to improve student assessments.

As K–12 schools continue their E-rate processes for 2019, districts should be considering what tools are worth investing in to provide their students with the best outcomes in the coming year. 

Artificial Intelligence Will Augment Data-Driven Initiatives

Analysts expect machine learning to play an important role in 2019, offering support for tasks that may require more time, energy and training than teachers and administrators have at their disposal.

  • Autonomous Machines: Gartner predicts AI-enabled machines will be more common in 2019 as the technology advances and becomes commercially available. While autonomous school buses may be far down the road, companies like RobotLAB are already designing interactive learning experiences that incorporate autonomous machines to teach programming.
  • Augmented Analytics: Teachers rely on data analysis to improve their relationship with students, especially as personalized learning programs become more widely adopted. Data collection and analysis has to lead to innovations in student assessment design, helping educators pinpoint where students are struggling and adjusting coursework to supplement those areas. Augmented analytics will help take some of the burdens off teachers who may not be trained in data analytics by using AI to take the brunt of the work instead.

New Tools Blend the Digital and Physical Worlds

Digital transformation in schools is already happening at a rapid rate, and there seems to be no sign of slowing down. Analysts predict the line between the real and digital worlds will continue to blur as current technologies advance and new tools are developed.

  • Digital Twins: This concept is not new. Members of the online community maintain multiple versions of themselves through social media sites, online profiles and other means. Systems such as power plants have digital copies, mirroring the real thing, to monitor daily functions. This technology could be used in conjunction with tools like digital backpacks — longitudinal, interoperable student records — to analyze how individual students learn and to create more effective personalized learning curricula.
  • Empowered Edge: Edge computing takes information processing and brings it closer to the source by using edge devices instead of sending information directly to and from a centralized cloud. The next iteration, empowered edge, will use AI to diversify the kinds of devices able to act as edge endpoints, such as displays or smartphones. This could prove crucial for K–12 schools that require more computing power as they integrate new tools like augmented and virtual reality headsets or connected classroom devices.
  • Immersive Technologies: Speaking of AR and VR, the use of immersive technology is expected to rise as hardware and software continue to improve. According to Gartner, by 2022, 70 percent of organizations will experiment with immersive technology. With 5G on the horizon promising lower latency and more robust connectivity, the quality of these tools will continue to grow, expanding their potential to supplement K–12 education.

Improvements in Mesh Mean a Focus on How Users Engage with Tech

Schools are swiftly replacing older equipment with their next-generation versions. Previously, chalkboards were a natural part of most classrooms; today, interactive whiteboards reign. As this transition continues, K–12 schools will need to be mindful of how they design their learning environments.

  • Smart Spaces: Educators are investigating connected classrooms and modern learning environments as the latest innovation in teaching, and Gartner analysts agree that smart spaces will be a major focus for 2019. Combined with other emerging techs such as AI and the empowered edge, the future of the connected classroom is guaranteed.
  • Digital Ethics and Privacy: The technology on Gartner’s list has the potential broaden how we incorporate technology into our lives, which means proper digital citizenship will be essential. For example, digital twins have great potential for improving learning, but such tools also require giving up valuable data and privacy to the digital universe. This means schools will need to improve curricula addressing responsible technology use and online presence. 

While educators have to wait to see what’s in store for 2019, the technology on Gartner’s list has obvious potential to change the way K–12 schools approach education.

GARTNER’S LIST OF TOP TECH TRENDS FOR 2019:

1. Autonomous Things
2. Augmented Analytics
3. AI-Driven Development
4. Digital Twins
5. Empowered Edge
6. Immersive Technologies
7. Blockchain
8. Smart Spaces
9. Digital Ethics and Privacy
10. Quantum Computing

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