A weekly wrap-up from Silicon Valley on what’s making the news in higher education, EdTech, and disruptive trends
Opening Minds on EdTech
What it is: Bill Gates shares his views on why advances in technology will make it easier to give educators the support they deserve. Developers will play a key role in helping make these advances happen.
Why it is important: Technology can revolutionize the way educators and students work together – but only if collaboration is based on evidence about which approaches work. According to Gates, the way products are selected and money is budgeted for those products needs to change. Professional development money needs to be freed up to create successful products that open peoples’ minds to what the role of technology is for educators. “The whole cost equation [for] higher education is really starting at a tough set of constraints. So that should serve to drive the demand [for technology investment]”, says Gates.
The Tough-Love Advice EdTech Needs to Hear
What it is: Technology can have a powerful impact on college students’ success. But progress is slow. Initiative fatigue abounds. At a time when the potential for technology to transform higher education has never been greater, university leaders can be increasingly skeptical of the hyper surrounding “the next big thing.”
Why it is important: Higher education’s anemic adoption curve may have just as much to do with tone-deaf pitches from entrepreneurs and a legacy of failed implementations. To be successful, entrepreneurs will overcome the cynicism impeding shared progress between EdTech and higher ed by getting smarting about how they approach universities.
How Higher Ed Is Coping as a Cybersecurity Target in 2016
What it is: Six major universities fell victim to cyberattacks in 2015, putting a renewed focus on information security in 2016. According to an Internet security threat report, created by Symantec in 2015, education ranked third among the most-breached sectors, accounting for 10% of reported incidents.
Why it is important: This year, colleges and universities will be increasingly diligent about cybersecurity. EDUCAUSE found that reinvesting in information security remains a top priority of higher ed leaders. At many institutions, revamped cybersecurity plans may include operating system and firewall upgrades, security analytics deployment and end user security training.
Could HoloLens’ Augmented Reality Change How We Study the Human Body?
What it is: A team of researches at Case Western Reserve University are fixated on another way to experience the world – augmented reality (AR). Microsoft’s forthcoming AR headset, HoloLends, is at the forefront of this technology. The company calls it the first holographic computer. In AR, instead of being surrounded by a virtual world, viewers see virtual objects projected on top of reality through a transparent lens.
Why it is important: Looking through the lens of AR. students can witness physiological events in three dimensions, not just read about them. They will be able to watch blood move through the chambers of the heart and into arteries and veins, enabling students to separate each of these elements and study them in isolation.
It Takes Two: The Practical Benefits of K-12 Public Education and Higher Ed Partnerships
What it is: The concept of integrating virtual reality and edtech products into the classroom is daunting for most educators. The concern is effectively integrating when the outcome is unpredictable.
Why it is important: Educators in the Greater Pittsburgh Region formed a strategic partnership to introduce new and emerging educational technologies into the classroom, supplementing teaching methodology with guided practice for students and detailed progress for teachers.
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