Higher education leaders have many opportunities today to make changes that can profoundly alter the learning
environments they provide students. The digital revolution and rise in the use of both wireless networks and mobile
computing devices promise a new paradigm in education, one in which students and faculty need anywhere, anytime access to the network; where learning can be more personalized and customized; where students are more engaged; where remote learning opportunities are optimized; and where collaboration between all stakeholders becomes much easier to achieve.
Institutions of higher learning, including public and private universities, community colleges and technical schools, are increasingly turning to digital learning approaches. Higher education students expect a more socially engaging and collaborative learning experience and new technology is enabling these opportunities that were once difficult to imagine. The Center for Digital Education’s 2011 Digital Community Colleges Survey found that 92 percent of respondents have expanded distance learning offerings for online, hybrid and Web-assisted courses over the past year. A survey of adult students also found that 33 percent cited blended courses (courses that are part online and part in the classroom) as their preferred learning format. However, layered on top of these digital opportunities are significant budget pressures and rising enrollment rates. Traditional funding sources — like grants and donations — are under tremendous strain, forcing administrators to consider tuition hikes and reduced course offerings, along with other undesirable cost-cutting measures. Along with these budget pressures, colleges and universities are experiencing an increased demand on IT resources,
including registrations systems, financial aid delivery, help desk support, mobility management, and online/selfservice applications.
The challenge that the higher education community faces is how to reduce complexity and costs within their infrastructure and maximize existing resources at a time when funding is in short supply. Colleges and universities need to reduce costs while ensuring they are providing staff and students with technology that enhances learning and leads to improved student success.
Some campuses are solving this problem by streamlining and simplifying their existing IT infrastructure. Improving what’s already in place not only saves money, but also makes it easier to enhance student learning and achievement using today’s technological tools. Here’s a look at how this is possible.
The digital age has brought many advances that have connected us globally like never before. Among the advantages to educators are the expansive resources now available to them that can enrich the learning environment, engage and motivate students and offer more convenient modes of communication to everyone. Benefits range from having access to resources such as the YouTube for Schools service, which delivers hundreds of age-appropriate education videos to schools all over the country, to the ability for individual teachers to set up their own classroom blogs or websites, where they have a venue for posting announcements and homework assignments and in general, establishing a forum for communicating with students on and off-campus.
However, social media sites also have a more ominous side. Stories of minor students being exposed to inappropriate material, sexual predators, and bullying and harassment by peers are becoming all too common.
This white paper attempts to explain the issues surrounding social networking among K-12 students and discusses some of the risks schools are facing as they try and contend with the virtually unanimous participation in social media among students. It will examine statistics around student use of social media technology and present some of the risks involved, including cyberbullying. The paper explains the types of cyberbullying that are occurring and how victims can suffer long-term damage as a result. It concludes with a discussion of why experts recommend social networks not be banned in schools and offers practical steps schools can take to manage student online interactions at school and at home. Finally, it offers a solution that gives schools the granular control required to make social media tools safe for students. One that gives schools visibility into and control over social media interactions, to not only help them educate students in the proper use of social media, but to help prevent problems such cyberbullying and other inappropriate activities.
When we were told in March that we would be teaching from home, most of the discussion between us, our institutional colleagues, and our larger network of academic peers on social media became focused on how to keep students engaged as we all moved to a remote, alternate-delivery style of teaching. Over the end of the winter term and through the summer, we tried many of the suggestions that emerged from these discussions, including breakout rooms, flipped classes, synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods, and collaborative tools such as Jamboard, Discord, and more. Our hope was that these new
strategies, combined with the handful of our face-to-face strategies that could translate over synchronous remote delivery, would be enough to keep students engaged. Sometimes they have worked (very active text-based chat, active and varied questions during class, consistent attendance rates), sometimes not so much (students not using discussion platforms, silent breakout rooms, so many procedural questions during Aaron’s first online test).
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the University of Denver has moved spring quarter classes online. That means DU professors are quickly shifting gears to adapt their lesson plans, lectures and assignments for the virtual classroom. With faculty and students adapting to online teaching and learning, the DU Newsroom reached out to the experts at University College, where the
majority of classes offered are 100% online. Allison O’Grady, University College’s senior instructional support specialist, has helped faculty facilitate online learning for the past decade.
She shares her expertise with the DU community.
Many proponents of online education have speculated that the digital learning environment might be a meritocracy, where students are judged not on their race or gender, but on the comments they post.
A study being released today by the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, however, finds that bias appears to be strong in online course discussions.
The study found that instructors are 94 percent more likely to respond to discussion forum posts by white male students than by other students. The authors write that they believe their work is the first to demonstrate with a large pool that the sort of bias that concerns many educators in face-to-face instruction is also present in online education.
At all levels of education — but particularly in higher education — campuses are revamping their IT environments and policies to accommodate, manage and support emerging technology trends. Desktop virtualization is an approach that addresses many of these needs. This Center for Digital Education issue brief explains how desktop virtualization can support emerging trends such as BYOD, improve access to resources, ensure user authentication and security, and increase efficiencies for the IT department.
The changing nature of work is a hot topic these days and policy makers across the globe must grapple with the challenges it presents. In our search for solutions, we need to remember that the future of work is inextricably linked to the future of education.
It is this linkage that makes Joseph Aoun’s new book, Robot-Proof, a must-read for anyone who is thinking about workforce development or education policy – though, of course, if you’re thinking about one, you should be thinking about the other.
A May 2011 Pew Internet survey finds that 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, including 59% who do so on a typical day. This places search at the top of the list of most popular online activities among U.S. adults. But it is not alone at the top. Among online adults, 92% use email, with 61% using it on an average day.
Since the Pew Internet Project began measuring adults' online activities in the last decade, these two behaviors have consistently ranked as the most popular. Even as early as 2002, more than eight in ten online adults were using search engines, and more than nine in ten online adults were emailing.
The most famous dictum of the science fiction writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke may be his Third Law: “Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic.” And for most of us, the efficiency of 21st-century search engines — Google, Bing, Yahoo and others — can be uncannily accurate. But when it comes to learning, instant gratification can be as much a bug as a feature.
Take high school students today. They have grown up using search engines and other web resources; they don’t need to understand how these tools work in order to use them. In fact, thanks to what’s called machine learning, search engines and other software can become more accurate — and even those who write the code for them may not be able to explain why.
This Digital Content Strategy Guide will assist you in creating a plan for your school or district to bring digital content/curriculum to students, teachers, administrators and parents. This plan will help you set the strategy for leveraging existing digital assets, acquiring new digital content and ensuring the effective implementation of digital content within your school or district. It is meant to be easy to navigate and highly useable with several sets of questions, models and advice to consider, and an abundant amount of resources to explore.
This guide provides you with the information you need to develop a framework that ensures effective policy and practice throughout the educational experience.
This framework is sustainable in systematically achieving the instructional goals and outcomes your school or district desires, outcomes that can â€” and undoubtedly should â€” prepare students to compete in the global society.
The guide also provides best practices in the selection and implementation of digital assets that maximize your investment in digital content by helping you to assess what you are doing now, what is working and what to leverage in the next stage. It suggests productive collaborations with industry, community leaders and parents to acquire and produce the content you need and want. In short, it can help guide you toward better and more productive practice.
â€œDigital learning is the great equalizer. It holds the promise of extending access to rigorous high quality instruction to every student across America, regardless of language, zip code, income levels, or special needs.â€
Social networking became the rallying cry for a generation that connects over the Internet as easily as previous generations communicated over the telephone. In fact, many Millennials entering the workforce actually prefer social media to spoken conversations.
Numerous articles and op-eds encourage academics to be more active online. They generally argue that being on social media offers many benefits, including enabling scholars to network with colleagues, share their research and conduct public scholarship.
Often such advice is good. But such hypothetical opportunities stand in stark contrast to experiences of harassment that some academics report when they go online. One public scholar for example, recently told us that she received a Facebook message following a TV appearance.
Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty
The numbers surrounding social media are simply mind boggling.
750 million. The number of active Facebook users, which means if Facebook was a country it would be the third-largest in the world.
90. Pieces of content created each month by the average Facebook user.
175 million. The Twitter accounts opened during Twitter's history.
140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day in February 2011.
460,000. Average number of new Twitter accounts created each day during February 2011.
120 million. LinkedIn members as of August 4, 2011.
More than two per second. The average rate at which professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn as of June 30, 2011.
All of these stats, which come from the respective companies’ own websites, serve as proof points to what we already knew: social media is growing at breakneck speed. Yet the story of social media is still being written as organizations and individuals alike continue to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of social media in the workplace. When that workplace is a college or university, there’s a cacophony of opinions in terms of the most effective uses, if any.
For the past two years, Faculty Focus conducted a survey on Twitter usage in higher education, this year we expanded the survey to include Facebook and LinkedIn, while changing a number of the questions as well. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are considered "the big three" in social media, and we thank those who recommended we take a
broader look at the landscape.
All three platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and are better used for some things than others. But how are the three being used in higher education today? It’s our hope that these survey results provide at least some of the answers while lending new data to the discussion.
Summary of findings
Questions have been raised about the social impact of widespread use of social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Do these technologies isolate people and truncate their relationships? Or are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way? The Pew Research Centerâ€™s Internet & American Life Project decided to examine SNS in a survey that explored peopleâ€™s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement. The findings presented here paint a rich and complex picture of the role that digital technology plays in peopleâ€™s social worlds. Wherever possible, we seek to disentangle whether peopleâ€™s varying social behaviors and attitudes are related to the different ways they use social networking sites, or to other relevant demographic characteristics, such as age, gender and social class.
The number of those using social networking sites has nearly doubled since 2008 and the population of SNS users has gotten older. In this Pew Internet sample, 79% of American adults said they used the internet and nearly half of adults (47%), or 59% of internet users, say they use at least one of SNS. This is close to double the 26% of adults (34% of internet users) who used a SNS in 2008. Among other things, this means the average age of adult-SNS users has shifted from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010. Over half of all adult SNS users are now over the age of 35. Some 56% of SNS users now are female.
Facebook dominates the SNS space in this survey: 92% of SNS users are on Facebook; 29% use MySpace, 18% used LinkedIn and 13% use Twitter. There is considerable variance in the way people use various social networking sites: 52% of Facebook users and 33% of Twitter users engage with the platform daily, while only 7% of MySpace and 6% of LinkedIn users do the same.
On Facebook on an average day:
- 15% of Facebook users update their own status.
- 22% comment on anotherâ€™s post or status.
- 20% comment on another userâ€™s photos.
- 26% â€œLikeâ€ another userâ€™s content.
- 10% send another user a private message
Questions have been raised about the social impact of widespread use of social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Do these technologies isolate people and truncate their relationships? Or are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way? The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project decided to examine SNS in a survey that explored people’s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement. The findings presented here paint a rich and complex picture of the role that digital technology plays in people’s social worlds. Wherever possible, we seek to disentangle whether people’s varying social behaviors and attitudes are related to the different ways they use social networking sites, or to other relevant demographic characteristics, such as age, gender and social class.
Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) have been the most consistently administered tool, and they are still extensively used in higher education institutions to assess teaching effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to explore how SET are used by administrators in the teaching evaluation process at a large, research-intensive Canadian university. A basic qualitative
research design was used in this project, and semi-structured interviews were used to obtain administrators’ experiences. The research question that guided this study was: How are SET (and other tools) used in the evaluation of teaching at this university? Findings showed that although participants mostly utilized a couple of SET statements as indicators of effective teaching,
they were certainly aware of the intrinsic issues concerning these tools, and that they are continually seeking to obtain more evidence if SET results are below their benchmarks.
WHEN a story is passed on from one person to another, each man repeating, as he imagines, what he has heard from the last narrator, it undergoes many successive changes before it at length arrives at that relatively fixed form in which it may become current throughout a whole community. To discover the principles according to which successive versions in such a process of change may be traced, presents problems of considerable interest, both for psychology and for sociology. Moreover, precisely the same type of problems confront investigators who endeavour to study the diffusion of decorative and representative art forms, of music, of social customs, institutions, and beliefs, and in fact, of almost every element which enters into the varied and complex life of man in society.
Today’s students are not receiving the specialized training needed to enter fields such as engineering, research, science and the arts. To add to the problem: Students are losing interest in these fields as they progress through their education. Educational institutions recognize the need to train students to enter the future workforce, but face challenges both in trying to interest students in these fields as well as to retain them; funding and a lack of trained educators are also problems. However, a whole new class of specialized technology is emerging that not only can make up for campuses’ limited resources, but can spark student engagement. This Special Report highlights this specialty technology and showcases its use in campuses across the nation. It examines how technology is boosting student interest and transforming areas like STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), research and supercomputing, and special education — providing educators with valuable tools to ensure all students have the critical skills needed to enter the future workforce prepared.
Should copyright law lock down music and literature to protect the ﬁnancial interests of rights-holders? Or should it promote broad access to, and use of, intellectual goods? These questions are at the core of the growing public debate over the need for fair and balanced copyright law, a debate that college and university students have a critical stake in. As creators and owners of copyright material (essays, articles, theses and multi-media productions), students need to protect their work from unjust appropriation. But to study, research, write and create new knowledge, students also need ready access, at a reasonable cost, to the copyrighted works of others. This tri-part perspective—of use, creation and ownership of copyright—gives students special credibility in the struggle for fair and balanced copyright law.
One of the most profound transformations in postsecondary education is coming from the realization that digital communication skills really do matter in everyday life; therefore, it is imperative that digital skills also matter in academic life. Students and enlightened faculty alike understand that the convergence of technical and creative competencies is helping to create new opportunities for a whole new generation of creative professionals. â€œImagine a curriculum that is based on achieving comprehensive goals where students must create and produce a computer game, suggests Eric Converse, CEO of ATIV Software, a mobile application development company. â€œThis requires an understanding of physics and math, programming and scripting, story and dialog writing, cinematography, art and design, music, collaboration, teamwork, and delegation.Digital storytelling has become an essential method of enhancing education in the humanities by making abstract or conceptual content more understandable. It engages students through images, audio, and video and provides a compelling way of sharing their work with their peers that, in turn, fosters more collaboration and accomplishment. The availability of increasingly sophisticated audio editing, image editing and video editing tools, such as those provided in AdobeÂ® Creative SuiteÂ® software, has given educators and students unprecedented abilities to become master composers in nonprint media and to build digital stories in the humanities that can captivate and teach an audience and connect people like never before. In addition, competencies that have traditionally been associated with art and design professionals are now expected from professionals working in such disciplines as journalism and education. Institutions are also seeing an increasing awareness of the value that subject matter experts with deep technological ability bring to the classroom and the workplace. This realization that the sum of discipline expertise plus technology expertise is even greater than its respective parts is leading to the emergence of fields of study such as informatics, instructional design, and educationaltechnology, areas of study that claim digital proficiencies as core components.
This paper explores the impact that digital communication skills, using processes associated with digital storytelling, is having on disciplines including liberal arts, humanities, and cross-curricular humanities/ technology collaboratories. In its simplest forms, digital storytelling involves the illustration of story elements using photographs and graphics tools, sometimes using nothing more than free and open source tools that can help make an abstract idea more conceptually complete. Increasingly, however, digital storytelling has evolved to include more complex forms of digital expression requiring video skills, such as micro-documentary production. In some cases, digital storytelling is dependent upon computer programming skills for application development and augmented reality.
Table of contents
2: The evolution of 21st century digital communication skills
2: Digital storytelling for enriched communications
3: Integrated enrichment: digital humanities instruction and practice
3: English language and literature course presentations enhanced by use of Adobe CS5
3: Other notable digital storytelling initiatives