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Cybersecurity a must in curriculum in increasingly digital classrooms

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Knowing how to responsibly navigate the threats of the online world is as critical as the life skills taught in home economics — and educators must learn, too.

As the ed tech coordinator and mobile integration specialist of Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas, cybersecurity is very much top of mind for Brianna Hodges. While topics including cyber safety and student privacy have always played roles in the district, the technology students now use regularly in the 1:1 district has changed.

That’s why Hodges believe it’s crucial students are taught to think more about how they’re engaging with technology in their lives. And she knows that requires more than just giving children a quick lesson once a year.

“We understand that the conversation needs to be part of the curriculum,” she told Education Dive. “There isn’t an off-the-shelf curriculum that we can use.”

Cyber-security a must in curriculum in increasingly digital classrooms

Before you click 'yes' or flip the switch

Most students in the U.S. now have access to computers in their homes — up to 94% of children ages 3 to 18 as of 2015 do, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which also notes 61% of this population has online access as well. This makes knowing how to safely navigate the internet even more crucial.

Hodges said even adults can make mistakes when they quickly jump onto their devices, download an app, and agree to the terms and conditions without going through the fine print and knowing what they’ve consented to follow.

That’s exactly what she hopes to encourage teachers to think about, as well as what she expects they’ll teach their students when Eanes ISD launches its new cybersecurity program during the 2019-20 school year. Some of the lessons are already at play, such as what middle school kids are taught during a robotics class at West Ridge Middle School, where Jason Spodick encourages them to think about privacy and drone laws, Hodges said.

Bringing a quadcopter into the classroom, Spodick presses his students to consider camera drones in particular. While they may be fun to play within a backyard, a neighbour may have a different opinion if one flies across the fence and peers into their home.

“[These lessons] have been really powerful,” Hodges said.

Home economics updated

Making cybersecurity lessons stick — like the way middle school students are learning about privacy and drones — is crucial, said Kelvin Coleman, the newly-tapped executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), based in Washington, D.C. The organization runs a website called Stay Safe Online that's loaded with suggestions, such as a downloadable Digital New Year’s Resolution Tip Sheet.

To Coleman, the days when people could leave technology know-how in the hands of so-called experts are in the past. Instead, he said, knowing how to stay secure online is as necessary as knowing how to make a phone call, tie a shoe or boil water.

“We need to be looking at cybersecurity like how people once looked at home [economics],” Coleman told Education Dive. “It’s one of these essential skills that you need to get through today’s life.”

Coleman, who took the helm at the NCSA in December 2018, is adamant that high school is too late for students to get their first lesson on how to keep their smartphones, laptops and other connected devices safe. Instead, he encourages administrators and curriculum designers to start looking at how to weave these lessons into elementary school classes, as “that’s where a lot of kids are starting that technology journey,” he said.

To start, Coleman admits that while young children may not understand malware, they certainly can comprehend the idea of getting sick. Just as students learn how to wash their hands to keep from spreading germs, they can certainly grasp that they need to keep their technology clean so as not to spread viruses to other devices.

For older students — and administrators, too — pushing to create a strong password is always a good starting point. While many students may have smartphones and laptops that open with biometric triggers such as fingerprints, there’s almost always a need for written passwords to unlock apps. If someone has a harder password to crack, a “bad actor is likely to move on to an easier one,” he said.

Finally, Coleman encourages people to adopt the phrase, "When in doubt, throw it out." Practising what he preaches, Coleman recently got an email with a link from colleagues that looked a bit odd to him. He made a quick call to his staff, and they assured him the email was normal.

"That took all of 10 seconds to ask, 'Is this really something I can trust?'" he said.

Savvy students

In some cases, University of Dayton Associate Provost and CIO Thomas Skill notes, it may be difficult to get through to students — particularly those born after 1995, which is certainly anyone who would be attending a K-12 school today. These students colloquially referred to as Generation Z, are considered "digital natives," having never known a time when they couldn’t connect to the internet.

This fluency with the connected world gives them a high comfort level with the technology, but there are areas where they are still naive, said Skill, also a professor in the university's communications department. They may have strong gaming and social media skills, but that doesn’t mean that they understand the risks that populate the online world.

"I would say kids today are kind of an interesting contradiction that, in one sense, they’re very savvy about some things, and yet very naive about others," Skill told Education Dive. "They’re not savvy about risks."

At the University of Dayton, Skill launched a marketing campaign in 2016 dubbed "A Year of Safe Computing." People developed newsletters and blogs, wrapping them with humour and cartoons to transform cybersecurity from something to fear into a conversation. That approach is easily translatable into lessons for K-12 students, certainly, those in their high school years — and perhaps something elementary and middle schools must do as well.

“We need to be teaching them how to be sufficiently cautious, being too horrific so they can’t be online, by building a computer savviness,” he said. “I think we have a responsibility to augment all these experiences they have.”

posted Jan 10, 2019 by Chankrisna

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Blended learning is one of the fastest growing sectors of education. 

But educators do not know if blended learning approach will have positive impact on student learning. Put simply, this is one of the biggest criticism the educator have regarding blended learning.

Blended learning is more than a trend. There is a growing and collective acceptance to the fact that blended learning is indeed going to be the way of the future.

Leaders may agree to this fact but when it comes to implementation of such an approach, what holds them back? Is it the knowledge about the approach or evidence on what is the outcome of blended learning on student learning?

Going by what an article in EdSurge on the same topic reflects and also by what schools that has applied blended learning, one gets a clear idea that different schools have a distinct way of applying blended learning. It therefore makes it imperative for the leaders of the school and colleges to dig deeper into knowing what a good blended learning program is all about and what its contrary is.

With researchers diving deep into studying the impact of blended learning over face to face learning approach, some interesting facets have come to light in this regard. Researchers take up a closer look on the efficacy of this method of learning. The findings of the study do not either glorify blended learning approach nor does it dishonor traditional face-to-face learning process.

The individual study on blended learning program are a must read for education leaders as they offer valuable information to the educators on correct implementation of blended learning and personalized learning models. These studies have found a big impact and seen modest gains in the learning outcomes using the blended learning programs and also learn how blended learning can be used sustainably to best support teachers.

Summary of Six Best Research Work on Blended Learning Programs

1. 2016-17 Blended Learning Pilot Report

This study conducted by the Tennessee Department of education (DOE) summarizes certain vital findings and also recommended an in-depth examination of the factors which could lead to successful implementation. The research highlights visible results of blended learning on areas -an increase in student outcome, differentiation of content for students, change of student buy-in and ownership of their learning during lessons, factors that led to successful implementation of blended learning.

Analysis of data on the mentioned parameters showed small gains in each of the area by applying blended learning programs. Besides, knowing just about the findings of the research, the final section of the report contains valuable recommendations for implementing blended learning. This section is a valuable slice of advice for all the leaders who wish to ramp up blended learning programs in their institution as well as for those who are looking to apply this approach.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 2- Evaluating Improvement in Student Learning with Tutoring Software

Success of blended learning can be achieved by combining different instructional models, teaching practices and digital tool. Thus researchers of RAND Corp-funded by the US Department of Education examined a popular algebra blended learning program called the Cognitive Tutor Algebra 1. On the first year of the study, researchers found no significant results. However, in the second year, they found a significant improvement in students learning, say by 8 percentile points.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 3- Blended Learning Report.

This research study was conducted by SRI International and is from Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. This research was conducted in 13 low income charter schools using the rotation model of Blended learning. Researchers had found consistency among how the schools implemented the model.

This comprehensive report is worth considering because; it reflects valuable insight on areas such as- teacher satisfaction, student productivity and use of data to inform instruction.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 4- Is Supporting Student Success with Time & Technology Effectual?

This research study was released by the National Center on Time & Learning. It is worthwhile to consider this study because, it guides educators as well as districts in highlighting six schools pairing blended learning and extended learning. The case studies mentioned in the report is worth reading for it offers detailed understanding on the technologies used in the schools, the instructional models in place as well as the software which had turned out to be effective in this regard.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 5- Personalized Instruction: New Interest, Old Rhetoric, Limited Results and the Need for a New Direction for Computer Mediated Learning

It is a research released by the National Education Policy Center in the year 2013. The report is balanced as it brings forth cases where personalized learning has turned up to be successful and also cases where it failed. This report also highlights some valuable strategies for effective personalized learning and says a combination of tech-based and person-to-person instruction showing the greatest potential academic benefits.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 6Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies

This research is conducted by SRI International for the US Department of Education in 2010. The analysis in this study looks at various dimensions from 1996 through 2006 and ultimately finds that students in blended learning classes outperformed those in fully online or fully in-person classes. Most of the study examination involves college students or adult professional students, not K12 Learners.

Click here to refer to the research study

We recommend you to have a look at various reports and research studies to understand the best of both digital and in person learning. It is also vital to have a strong vision to implement best of strategies in education and certainly research studies does help in offering valuable information regarding any new concept. We hope, the reports mentioned above will therefore prove to be valuable assets for the institution leaders considering how one can use blended learning programs

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Edtech is really taking off in developing countries. Its growth has been stimulated by a mix of grassroots initiatives from local entrepreneurs in developing countries and aid from international organizations (such as the UNICEF Development Fund which has pledged $9 million to edtech initiatives). Here, we explore the ways in which edtech has the power to revolutionize education in developing nations and to vastly increase enrolment in education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

The Power Of Edtech In Developing Countries

Developing countries are often characterised by a lack of high-quality infrastructure. Poor quality roads and a dearth of reliable transport links can have a substantial negative impact on school attendance – and this includes both the attendance of pupils and of

Edtech surmounts these challenges by enabling learners to access online courses remotely. Poor transport infrastructure is thus no longer a barrier to learning. Moreover, the provision of free online courses along the MOOC model means that a lack of financial resources does not present a barrier to learning either. Theoretically at least, a student in a remote part of Sub-Saharan Africa could enrol for free in an online off-campus course at Harvard if they so desired.

The future is bright for edtech in developing countries as it provides a very real solution to the financial and infrastructure-related difficulties that learners in these countries often experience in their attempts to access education. Nevertheless, there are still several challenges to be met in order for edtech to achieve its maximum potential in the developing world.

One of the key challenges to m-learning and elearning is the lack of mobile phone and internet coverage. Though rates of mobile phone ownership in most developing countries are pretty high, access to online learning is often hampered by patchy broadband availability. In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, full 3G and 4G coverage are not estimated to be available until after 2020. This threatens to exacerbate the gap in educational levels between developing and developed nations.

Overall, though, it is clear that edtech is a hugely beneficial resource for developing countries as it can provide high-quality distance learning to students in remote areas who previously had little or no access to education. Are you an educator or entrepreneur? Maybe it’s time to turn your attention to edtech in developing countries.

in EdTech
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Today, India is one of the world's top destinations for education. With some of the best colleges and universities, it is renowned for its excellence and high standards. What's even more interesting is how technology has advanced rapidly to transform the way students in India consume educational content. Additionally, the penetration of internet-based smartphones is taking quality learning to students across geographies in India.

Today, little children are watching their favourite cartoons and learning pictorial rhymes on the same device. Education is being imparted to them through flexible and non-intrusive formats. As a consequence, students across all age groups are discovering the joys of learning and having fun while at it. There has been a noticeable shift in the perception of parents and teachers view digital learning too. Today, institutions are making efforts to shift the focus back on students to reinvent the way they learn right throughout their life.

India might not have readily adopted education technology but it's heartening to see how a traditional sector like education is using technology as an enabler so far. Today, some cutting-edge technologies are being used to further enhance this sector, while grabbing the attention of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporates and governments.

Here are the factors that are enabling the growth of digital education:

1. Personalised and adaptive learning

Learning platforms, software and digital devices are together creating countless new ways to modify education. This way, the academic potential, strengths, weaknesses, aptitude and learning pace of every single student is catered to. Precise, mobile and reliable applications are being created to teach students, help them practice their learnings, take assignments and manage their schedules.

Schools are now providing their students with digital devices like desktop computers, laptops and tablets. These devices are aiding them in the teaching process while also helping them understand how students learn and how to enhance their learning process.

The 'one size fits all' teaching model is being supplemented by adaptive, personalized learning pedagogies. Going forward, this will be the new trend informal learning that will enable students to be technologically skilled and equipped for modern workplaces.

2. Two-way conversations in E-Learning

In the traditional classroom seating scenario, students are unable to get the individual attention they need due to time constraints. In contrast, the one-to-one context of learning in digital mediums currently students to learn through videos and chat with an expert.

The upcoming 'Learning Management System' will continue the two-way communication model between students and experts. More importantly, it will let students track their coursework progress, identify improvement areas and offer ways to make the most of them.

Through the help of 'Big Data', experts will be able to capture student feedback within the framework of the content provided. With this alone, they'll be able to improvise and enhance their offerings in new ways to further benefit students.

3. Mobile-based learning

Over the past few years, mobile learning has picked up by the populace who have gradually assimilated it in their lives. It has offered students the flexibility to access educational content seamlessly across multiple digital devices like desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

The smartphone user base in India continues to increase, in both urban and rural areas. The coming years will witness users accessing most of their educational content through internet powered smartphones in a massive way. Most educational content, including even online courses, will be optimized entirely for mobile devices.

4. Video-based learning

Video learning has always appealed to students since it closely mirrors the traditional classroom teaching style. Earlier, students watched video lectures as a form of homework and then discussed them during the next class. Over time, this habit brought about a remarkable improvement in their performance, with a noticeable improvement in grades.

Video lectures allowed students to learn subject syllabi at their own pace and dedicate time spent in class towards interactions. This will continue to be a trend in the future where students will have access to rich and interactive content, that will be useful for both formal training as well as performance enhancement. The increase in video-based learning on mobile devices will eventually account for 80 per cent of all internet traffic by 2019.

5. Open educational resources

Open digital education resources have commonly been used in distance learning courses. They consist of freely accessible media for learning, teaching and research purposes. They are licensed to be revised and disseminated freely by teachers among students. This allows the latter to gain access to an extensive arrive of study material that is otherwise restricted indigenously.

Open educational resources also facilitate the creation of a flexible environment where teachers can customize educational content for individual sessions or classroom seatings. This is applicable for typical curricular subjects like mathematics, sciences and languages, as well as business and fine arts.

6. Usage of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) for learning

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are already buzzwords in the technology space. Their advent in e-learning has massively impacted the efficiency with which it is offered to students and the way it assesses their performance.

VR allows students using e-learning platforms on mobile devices to directly interact with study material. This keeps their engagement levels high and motivates them to learn more and better. On the other hand, AR facilitates teachers and trainers in performing tasks, they previously haven't or cannot, in a safe environment.

Together, both of them are engaging students in ways like never before and are poised to become a lot more widespread in their usage and impact in the future.

in EdTech
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Augmented Reality In Education: What's The Real Impact?

Wondering why your students are inattentive in your class? The answer may be that they are bored with your traditional ways of teaching. As per the recent report by Harvard GSE, the student's engagement is dropping each year because institutes focus on standardized modes of teaching.

The Impact Of Augmented Reality In Education

Ever noticed how easily kids get distracted by smartphones and tablets? Imagine what if we can leverage these devices for the good?

We all know that we remember better what we see instead of what we listen or mug up. Augmented Reality is proving this fact. With AR apps a 3D view is helping the students to understand better. Still, there are educators who believe that technology is ruining our generation. We can’t stop kids from using smartphones but we can make sure they are not wasting their lives because of technology.

5 Reasons Why AR Apps Are 'A Must' For This Generation's Students

1. A Better Explanation Of Complex And Abstract Concepts

There is no doubt that your students will understand the concept better when they will visualize it in reality. Especially for the difficult topics, students will get to learn quickly with 3-dimensional model representations.

2. Elevated Student Engagement

AR learning provides a gamified approach towards learning; which makes the lessons fun. As a result, it serves a positive impact on the students and keeps them engaged.

3. No Extra Tools Required

Today, 95% of teens own a smartphone. This can be used for constructive results as well. Parents and teachers don’t have to spend extra on buying tools for interactive learning and teaching.

4. Practical Knowledge

Students can perform practical without any physical need for lab equipment. This is mainly helpful for professional courses like medical and engineering. Students don’t have to operate a patient practically and still can learn the process.

5. Accessible Learning

With AR apps the users can learn anytime and anywhere from their smartphones. It is the best way to replace paper books, posters, huge physical models etc.

Popular Augmented Reality Apps

Educators around the globe have already adopted Augmented Reality in their teaching process. App store and Play store are flooding with AR apps for education. Students are responding to these apps in an optimistic manner. Here are the best Augmented Reality education apps; categorized for kids, students and self-learning.

AR Apps For Kids

1. AR Flash Cards

Students just have to scan the flashcards from their smartphones and the alphabets, and its explanations come to life.

2. Bugs 3D

Kids can learn more about insects and bugs; the app will illustrate descriptions and images to play for the kids.

3. Mathalive

The app helps the kids in grasping counting and number identification skills.

AR Apps For Teens

1. Anatomy 4D

Students can see 3D models of the human body when scanned through the camera of the smart device.

2. AugThat

The app explains the core topics from subjects like Geography, Maths, and Science in 3 dimensions. The app also has a dedicated course for students with special needs.

3. Arloon Plants

The best app to learn practically about various species of flora around the world. The app allows the students to learn about the structure and parts of a plant as well as they can witness the growth and movements.

AR Apps For Self Learning

1. Google Translate

The most practical way to learn a foreign language. Google Translate allows users to scan any written text via their smart device, and it will translate it in real time.

2. Starwalk

Anyone can learn about the stars and the constellations in the sky. By pointing the camera towards the sky the app will show all the details.

3. Aurasma

This app allows students to build their own AR experiences. Students just have to create their own triggers on the web version with Aurasma Studio.

The Scope Of Developing Education Apps

There is no doubt that education apps should be free for the users/students but that can’t stop you from earning. You can still opt for monetization methods like premium versions, advertisements etc. Education industry still has scope for more interactive Augmented Reality apps. If you are an educator, then you can think of something which your students need or they are bored to study the most. Then, you can build an app for that problem.

Over To You!

The education sector needs technology adaptation in order to keep the engagement levels high. Augmented Reality is the best way to do this. Αll you have to do is implement BYOD in your classroom and print AR worksheets or lessons. You will see the difference in the interest of the students towards learning. If you are already using AR in your teaching methods, then I would love to know about your experience. Comment below the results you have achieved after implementing Augmented Ρeality apps or any latest technology in your teaching.

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According to a study by KPMG in India and Google in May 2017, Internet and smartphone penetration in India has been growing exponentially, with the number of internet and smartphone users expected to rise to 735 million and 470 million, respectively, by 2021.

The rapidly increasing access to technology has transformed the framework of education, especially in the last decade.

As such, technology is the biggest factor impacting Indian education now, with digital content and classrooms, online assessments and cloud-based platforms augmenting the academic and administrative processes of the K-12 sector.

The dynamic nature of technology development entails drastic changes in the modes of instruction, assessment systems, and even the physical makeup of the classrooms in short intervals of time.

Education becomes a more creative process with innovation in all these areas and evolves to cater to the changing requirements of future citizen and society.

The education landscape of India is changing year by year, but some of the current trends are speculated to continue their impact in the coming years owing to further developments in these fields.

According to Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO at Next Education, India's only end-to-end education solutions provider, integration of technology in education will continue at a fast pace throughout the country, promoted by the formulation of government policies such as the one against overweight school bags.

These moves have facilitated the popularity of new-age pedagogies, empowering students with self-learning abilities through e-learning tools, as well as the adoption of experiential learning solutions for a holistic learning experience.

Experiential learning techniques, the use of artificial intelligence in education, and personalised

learning techniques are some of the major edtech trends which will continue to revolutionise the Indian education system in 2019 as well.


Experiential learning techniques

Experiential learning is a method of learning by doing in which learners engage in direct experiences that connect with an area that they intend to develop.

Learners are actively involved in defining problems, asking questions, experimenting, analysing results and constructing meaning.

It blends conceptual learning, hands-on activities, strategic planning, collaborative efforts and self-evaluative measures to foster all-around competence.

Experiential learning is being implemented in India in the form of virtual labs, social media platforms, virtual and augmented reality tools, and gamification of learning.

Virtual and augmented reality helps in creating an immersive, real-life experience in classroom learning via graphical simulations.

Gamification of learning is an effective pedagogy which maximises student motivation and engagement by integrating game elements in learning environments.

Virtual labs are interactive environments for creating and conducting simulated experiments based on real-world phenomena so that students can interact with an experimental apparatus or other activity via a computer interface.

This eliminates the problem of accessibility as well as the lack of physical infrastructures for lab-based learning, especially in science subjects.

Social media can be used as a platform for developing 21st-century skills such as communication, collaboration, and creativity.

Artificial intelligence and personalised learning

Artificial intelligence is the ability of computers to mimic human cognitive functions such as learning and analysing.

AI has made considerable inroads in various fields of academia across the world, such as administration, learning, tutoring, grading, and assessments, and India, as one of the leading developing nations, is no exception.

By coupling it with data analytics, it has been possible to create adaptive learning technology, a tech-mediated way of providing every learner personalised courses based on their ability and performance.

While such technology does not aim to replace teachers, it facilitates students in managing their own learning.

One of the key challenges faced in the education sector in India is that the assessments are not streamlined across institutions. Leading experts often question whether we are truly measuring the relevant competencies of a student.

This is especially important for teachers, as they need to be aware of their students' academic interests and abilities. In order to meet this challenge, computerised adaptive tests are the best solution.

Another challenge is the 'one-size-fits-all' method of teaching because no two students learn the same way; their learning pace and style vary.

Personalised learning based on human resources is difficult to achieve in India with its high pupil-teacher ratio and lack of adequate financial resources. AI-based learning solutions can solve this problem and personalise education in India successfully.

How Next Education is helping usher in new Edtech trends

Next Education offers experiential learning with its NextLab solutions for English, Maths, Science and Robotics. It has also launched adaptive assessments for CBSE Maths and Science, and are working on similar assessments for other subjects and boards.

Apart from these, its award-winning in-house content, consisting of digital books and HD animated videos available on LearnNext and TeachNext@Home solutions, allows students to independently bridge the gaps in their learning.

In addition, the online Q&A forum for doubt clarification, practice papers and solved NCERT papers for more practice, IIT foundation courses for future attempts in medical or engineering exams and Science resource kits help provide an all-around learning opportunity to learners.