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International Conference on Science, Engineering & Technology

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International Conference on Science, Engineering & Technology will provide an excellent international forum for sharing knowledge and a result in Science, Engineering & Technology. 

The aim of the Conference is to provide a platform to the researchers and practitioners from both academia as well as industry to meet the share cutting-edge development in the field.

Start Time: 9:00 am Monday, November 4, 2019

Finish Time 6:00 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Address

High Sky Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

posted Sep 20 by Nongvutha

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The University of Oxford has become the first UK institution to top Times Higher Education’s computer science and engineering and technology subject rankings.

Oxford overtook three prestigious US universities renowned for their strength in technology to take pole position in the two tables. In the computer science ranking, it outperformed Stanford University, which fell two places to third, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which dropped three places to fifth.

Top US technology universities lose ground in computer science and engineering

Meanwhile, in engineering and technology, Oxford achieved a higher overall score than Stanford, which dropped one place to second, and the California Institute of Technology, which fell two places to fourth.

Oxford is not the only European success story at the top of the computer science ranking; ETH Zurich rose two places to second, while the University of Cambridge climbed one place to fourth. However, in the engineering table, Cambridge dropped one place to sixth, while ETH remained at ninth. 


Best universities for computer science degrees
Best universities for engineering and technology degrees
Browse Times Higher Education’s university rankings portfolio


Oxford improved its scores for a teaching environment and industry income in both tables, and saw a boost in its scores for research environment and international outlook in the engineering and technology ranking.

In contrast, both Stanford and Caltech received lower scores for research environment in the engineering table while Stanford and MIT received lower scores for the teaching environment, research environment and industry income in the computer science list.

This year, THE made a small adjustment to the eligibility criterion for academic staff in the subject tables, which explains why there are some highly ranked new entrants in the lists. For example, Harvard University has joined the engineering table in the third place.


World University Rankings 2019 by subject: computer science methodology
World University Rankings 2019 by subject: engineering and technology methodology


THE’s 11 subject rankings have each been expanded this year. The computer science ranking now includes 684 universities, up from 301 last year, while the engineering and technology ranking includes 903 institutions, up from 501.

The subject rankings are based on the same range of 13 performance indicators used in the overall THE World University Rankings 2019, but the methodologies have been recalibrated to suit the individual fields.

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Keeping Pace With edTech: The Top Educational Technology Trends

Education is increasingly becoming high tech. All the things that are happening in the world of technology are directly impacting education and learning systems. Why this is bound to happen, how our teachers, learners, and education systems as a whole are keeping pace with them, is a big concern. Here we are going to introduce 6 high tech approaches to education.

1. Custom Learning Experiences

Learning methodologies and experiences should never be the same for everyone, but the earlier education systems could never accommodate the custom learning experience as there were too many limitations. Thanks to modern technology in education, we can really initiate custom teaching and learning methodologies and experiences in our present day educational infrastructure. With modern gadgets and interfaces, now one can initiate learning based on their need, preference, and availability.

Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach to classroom education, mobile apps development for education unleashed a new way of need-based learning. For instance, a junior surgeon now can seek guidance for a critical procedure during the operation right through his mobile app.

2. Cloud Computing

More than any other technology, cloud computing unlocked the door of high tech education. The anytime-anywhere accessibility of information stored in remote cloud servers of the apps made it possible to access courseware and educational materials from any device and from anywhere. You can continue reading a book and collaborate with other students and teachers about your homework just through any device and at any time. Besides the ease of access and collaboration, cloud-based education apps solved the problem of storing data as well.

3. Speech-To-Text Options

A vast majority of devices and app platforms are now coming with virtual assistant apps and features like Apple’s Siri. Such smart assistants responding to voice commands make things even easier for learning. Moreover, the speech-to-text feature, coming with most devices, makes note taking and writing even more comfortable and fast-paced.

4. Virtual And Augmented Learning Experiences

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have come as s big boost to online education. Thanks to VR and AR learners can actually get an immersive learning experience without needing to move their legs too much. If you want to learn about space objects just by running a 3D space video on your VR headgear, you can float in space while a background voice continues depicting you the Milky Way in detail. Similarly, real-time broadcasting of critical surgical operations allows medical students to learn through a more immersive experience.

5. 3D Printing

3D printing, which is also known as prototyping, allows students to learn with a more tangible and physical experience. A student can easily shape his idea of an object thanks to 3D printers. With 3D printing, students can give shape to their imagination. In any institution, 3D printers will only help students to unleash their creative ideas and have more hands-on experiences.

6. Learning Analytics

Thanks to the increasing pace of high tech adoption of the educational system, learning data is increasingly becoming important to drive decisions and make decision-making procedures easier. The huge volume of education information and data give birth to learning analytics, as it is increasingly important to assess and evaluate student engagement, traction, and learning output. In the near future, we can see learning analytics warning teachers about certain issues, warning students about deadlines and their progress, etc. Eventually, learning systems will dictate the way education is remitted by teachers and experienced by learners. Learning analytics will boost learner engagement in education more than anything else.

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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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As schools and teachers continue to adopt a growing number of technology tools and solutions, it’s important to think about new trends in education and how students learn.

We live in an era where technology itself often precedes the practical application of technology solutions to teaching, learning and creative inquiry challenges. In order to use new tech tools in meaningful and engaging ways for education, it's important to understand the trends driving technology adoption in the K-12 environment. According to a panel of 59 experts across 18 countries for the latest K-12 edition of the NMC/CoSN Horizon Report, the key trends accelerating technology adoption are as follows:

6 Key Trends in Educational Technology

1. Coding as a literacy

The digital economy of the future will be driven by those who have programming skills and an understanding of how computers work. It is becoming more important for students to interact with technology and to have the ability to control the devices, programs and applications they interact with.

2. Supporting students as creators

Learners are beginning to explore subjects through active creation instead of by passive consumption of content. Makerspaces, fabrication laboratories, media centres, intuitive creative suites of desktop programs, and apps provide hands-on opportunities for students to boldly channel their creativity into inventions, solutions and expressions.

3. Collaborative learning

Collaborative learning models are proving to be increasingly successful at engaging students. Collaboration mirrors the way humans solve problems, and technology tools help students (and faculty) connect with one another. Synchronous and asynchronous workspaces built into tools like Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Classroom remove time, space and demographic barriers among learners.

4. Deeper learning approaches

For students to remain motivated, they need to have a sense of how their knowledge and skills will have an impact. Social media platforms like Twitter, WeChat and Snapchat keep students connected to one another and to local and global issues. When folded into pedagogy and combined with content creation tools like YouTube and WeVideo, these same outlets can be used to actively contribute insight or solutions in meaningful ways.

5. Rethinking how schools work

Adaptive learning tools and open educational resources are, respectively, personalizing and democratizing how students learn. Combine these with mobile technology like a network-connected smartphone or a tablet, and students have a powerful any-time, any-way, any-place learning environment.

6. Redesigning learning spaces

Flexible learning spaces allow students to group and regroup as is appropriate for a lesson. Network-enabled classrooms allow students to connect and collaborate in familiar mobile-first and social modalities that are part of their daily digital habits outside of the classroom.

in EdTech
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The concept of a modern learning environment is transforming with serious attempts by schools authorities to align the physical space with modern pedagogical philosophy.

This is also mainly due to the push to support 21st-century learning opportunities. Today’s classrooms embrace technology in all aspects of learning and this has helped teachers to better engage with students and facilitate a combination of independent, small-group and whole class learning which is regarded critical to student success.

We at EdTechReview wanted to know what teachers think of edtech and technology-enabled pedagogy in and out. So we reached out to Ms Sanchita Ghosh, the Head of the Department at Sanskriti School, New Delhi to talk to her and know her perspective on edtech and the whole concept of including technology in education today.

1. How has technology opened avenues to better teaching and student learning at Sanskriti School?

EdTech is a dynamic tool which can be used to leverage learning opportunities that were hitherto unavailable to both teachers and students. It opens up new avenues for teaching old concepts and discovering new horizons of learning for the students. In Sanskriti School teachers are creatively using technology to create learning experiences that are exciting and engaging for students.

To give you an example, in the past, Geography classes involved the use of wall maps as a visual aid to display landforms. Today, Google Earth or Google Maps allow students to view topography and other geographical features in 3D. These applications can be used to create layered maps to show the relationship between ocean currents and air currents; rainfall vegetation and crops; and topography and human adaptations, to just name a few.

To take an example from literature class, students may attempt to retrace the steps of the main characters in the novel like Homer's Iliad or Odyssey by trying to the place the journey of the protagonists of these stories using Google Tour Builder.

EdTech has really revolutionised how our students work on collaborative projects. In Sanskriti School, we use the Google Suite of Apps to enable students to collaborate in real time, 24x7. It could be a simple research paper, written using Google Docs, or interactive presentations using Google Slides. EdTech has enabled students to unleash their imagination and create original content like documentaries on lesser-known monuments of Delhi, or a traditional craft.

Technology has also enabled teachers to organise and analyse student data using Google Sheets. They have been able to differentiate learning to address the wide range of students needs within the classroom. Teachers are able to create lesson modules that students can attempt at their own pace, using Google Forms.

Besides Google Apps, our teachers also use tools like EdPuzzle to create interactive videos to fully engage student participation, rather than passive watching of videos.

Flipped Classroom and Blended Learning opportunities enabled by technology have opened up more meaningful conversations between teachers and students. Teachers are now able to drive discussions which encourage critical thinking among students, give personalised attention to those who need it and offer greater challenges to gifted students. Teachers are now able to spend more time teaching and coaching and less time managing systems and doing mundane repetitive things.

2. Do the teachers in your school feel stressed or does it excite them to practice technology-enabled pedagogy? Do you see the students enjoying the mix of traditional and technology-enabled learning?

Any change brings some stress. However, not all stress is negative. The climate in Sanskriti School enables us to channel this stress towards a more positive outcome. Training opportunities are presented on a regular basis, both within and outside the school, to update teachers on different EdTech tools available and how they can be integrated into teaching and subject pedagogies. Once teachers are empowered, stress is replaced by excitement to try out new technologies and look at opportunities for tech-integration in the classroom. The school leadership largely allows and encourages teachers to choose their own EdTech paths and self-driven learning.

The biggest gainers of this approach are our students. We have definitely experienced greater student engagement. There is greater ownership of learning when teachers are using the tools which are part of the students’ everyday lives. Use of technology also addresses the different learning styles of students and the multiple intelligences they use to learn and understand new concepts.

To give a small example, we have a number of students with disabilities which make it difficult for them to write. They are provided with scribes during examinations. But most do not have scribes to help do their homework. So instead of writing, they may be given assignments which can be submitted as a voice or video files. I get a fair number of such students in my History classes of Grades 11 and 12 where it is mandatory for students to produce essay-type answers. In such cases, I encourage them to use the voice-typing feature in Google Docs to submit their written assignments. This also gives them the practice to dictate answers to scribes during examinations.

Integration of technology in education has given students different ways to demonstrate their learning. When even traditional tasks can be done in new ways, it excites the students and leads to more engagement.

3. What kind of training do you offer to teachers in your school to enhance their technology skills and start using various technologies in pedagogy?

Teacher training is taken very seriously in Sanskriti School. We have a Professional Development In-Charge who tracks different workshops and conferences available for the faculty. The process of selection is democratic, where teachers themselves choose their own learning paths. Teachers, on their own, are also on the lookout for different learning opportunities and the school supports them when they want to attend workshops outside the school.

We also have an in-house team of technology trainers. The trainers do not come from a technical background. I teach History and my two partners are Economics and Mathematics teachers, respectively. We call ourselves Techno@Heart. We conduct regular ‘big-group’ workshops on a regular basis introducing them to new tools or familiarizing them with advanced features of tools they are already familiar with. We also engage in one-on-one sessions with teachers to hand-hold them and help them work on their specific subject and pedagogical concerns.

We also encourage the sharing of ‘Best Practices in EdTech’, where teachers and invited to share their usage and experience of technology integration. This process not only offers recognition to those teachers who adopt and adapt new tools to galvanize learning in their classrooms, but it also helps create role models for other teachers. We try to keep things real and do-able for the teachers to build more confidence and comfort with the fast-changing EdTech scene.

4. Can edtech play a potential role in humanities studies just as it is seen in STEM learning?

In its current form, there seems to be an underlying assumption that STEM and Humanities subjects are in a vertical hierarchy. Both subject groups are equally important for human development. It is the humanities subjects which give a social context to STEM innovations. For example, engineers are building Metro Rail Systems in Delhi NCR and other cities, but it will be the Social Scientists who will help determine how many and at what distance stations will be placed after studying the demographics of the area being covered by the Metro lines.

And education is education. EdTech is already disrupting the classrooms. If a classroom is able to set up a Skype call or Hangout with a historian or an author (synchronous), that is a disruption. Use of AR/VR for a virtual visit to a historical or geological site is a disruption. My students and I can travel around the world without visa issues and lost baggage troubles….. Disruption. The very act of students getting involved in filmmaking or podcasting is a disruption. Using tools like FlipGrid, Padlet and social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (asynchronous) to connect classrooms from across the world to study a language like Spanish or French or Japanese, is a disruption. A similar approach can be used to design an activity for students to understand how traditionally non-English speaking communities are learning and using English in their day to day lives. This is also disruption!

Educational disruption is about encouraging students to learn and think beyond the prescribed texts. It is enabling them to identify problems and finding innovative ways to solve them. The point is to move away from traditional learning methods which are no longer preparing students or skilling them for the future.

At this point, if I ask my students this very same question, they will answer in a resounding YES!! The questions we need to ask are: Do we view disruption as something positive and something to be desired? How are we bringing this disruption to the classroom? How are we empowering and equipping both teachers and students to embrace educational disruption?

5. What challenges do you face in integrating technology in teaching?

Tech integration in education is as exciting as it challenging. In my experience as a classroom teacher and EdTech trainer I look at the following as challenges which we are faced with:

  1. Fear of failure: We have a cultural fear of failure. “The guru cannot be or better not be wrong.” Teachers are afraid that they may get stuck while in class with a technical glitch. They worry about losing class control if things don’t go according to plan or students know more about the technology than them. They fear a loss of respect.
  2. Curation of EdTech tools: This challenge is about who decides what EdTech is to be deployed in the classroom. Often it is the school leadership which makes the decision. The issue with that is it assumes one-size fits all approach. This forces teachers to use tech that does not address their subject, pedagogical or classroom needs. This results in resistance towards tech integration in general.
  3. Who pays for it: EdTech is not always cheap. So who pays? School or Teachers?
  4. Constant Training: Technology is getting updated with increasing frequency. Often teachers find it difficult to keep up. By the time they are comfortable using a certain application, it gets updated or it gets replaced by another. So regular opportunities for training is important to keep the teachers updated. School schedules are tight and it is sometimes difficult to mark out time at regular intervals for such workshops.
  5. Personalizing Learning for Students: Time or rather the lack of it can impact the ability of teachers to create modules conducive to personalised learning. Often the teachers may not have the right tools to facilitate the same. Many times, the student or the parents may challenge a teacher’s efforts to personalise learning, either over or underestimating a student’s pace of learning.
  6. The notion that tech is only meant for assessment: Most EdTech tools brand themselves as great tools for assessment. Some take it a step further to suggest diagnostic steps that can be taken post-assessment. This prevents both, the tech provider and the teachers to consider the fact the EdTech tools are great at introducing new concepts or encouraging the process of learning of that new concept.
  7. It is not meant for all subjects: Many feel that EdTech is effective in teaching only STEM subjects. I have often heard teachers say that there are no tech tools to teach Indian History, for example. This is a misunderstanding. Sure I cannot use a 3D image of the human anatomy to teach ancient Indian History, but I can use Google Street View to virtually visit the Bhimbetka caves in Madhya Pradesh. FlipGrid can be used to display Spanish or French (or any other foreign language) speaking skills of students. Instagram can be harnessed to display a student’s English writing skills. Twitter is a great instrument to train students the value of brevity in communication.

6. Any message that you wish to share with other teachers related to the impact of technology on teaching practices.

Technology is not a substitute for a teacher. But a tech-empowered teacher can definitely supplant someone who is not upgrading his/her skills. There is no right technology. There is only the right teacher. We know that good teacher can make anything work for them. They can use any situation as a teachable moment. For example, if your tech supported lesson fails to take off (due to tech or no-tech reasons) how are you setting an example for the students? Are you patient? Are you willing to take the help of your students (you can learn from anyone)? Are you flexible enough to quickly adjust to situations where everything is not under your control?

Technology will not replace the teacher. In fact, the presence of such powerful technology makes the role of the teacher even more critical. It becomes even more necessary to have the teachers guide students about constructive use of these tools, become their conscience keepers, help students stay safe online, guide students to gauge and critically analyse content before they accept anything as correct and accurate.

We are soon reaching a critical mass where education cannot be thought of without access to technology. If you are using a smartphone, if you are connected to the internet, if you are on WhatsApp, if you have a Facebook account, you are a technologically empowered teacher. You can bring about a transformation in your classroom. Your students will want to be in your class. They will ask each other, “What’s going to happen today?’’

 

About the Author

Author: Ananya Debroy Website: http://edtechreview.in

Ananya is currently working as the Content Manager at EdTechReview. She has a keen interest in Ed Tech and the ways in which it is strengthening the education sector as a whole. She is an avid reader and loves to meet relevant people & unleash new updates on various innovations in the EdTech world as it indirectly helps her pen down well-researched blogs on the niche. Follow her @AnanyaDebRoy

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