HarvardX -- an effort by Harvard University to create massive open online courses -- has launched a platform called LabXChange, which could allow educators to repurpose parts of existing MOOCs to build their own, free online courses. Robert Lue, founding faculty director of HarvardX, says the effort will have teachers make custom "mini-MOOCs."
Many public universities and colleges, such as the California Community Colleges and the University of Massachusetts system, have announced they are planning large-scale online-learning initiatives to attract nontraditional learners and students from other states. However, several high-profile failures offer cautionary tales for universities that want to launch such programs.
Eighteen percent of middle- and high-school students with family incomes below $100,000 didn't participate in any after-school activities, which was twice as high as those from higher-income families, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. The survey also showed that 29% of parents reported that extracurricular activity fees were more expensive than they thought and 10% didn't think the activities' benefits were worth the cost, but only 7% sought participation fee waivers or scholarships.
When makers of education products conduct -- or pay to have an organization conduct -- studies on their tools, the results of those studies generally show benefits 70% higher than results from independent research, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Researchers attribute the findings to the lack of negative studies released by a developer and the ways the studies are manipulated to skew the results.
AI4K12, a working group established by the Computer Science Teachers Association and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, soon may release curriculum guidelines about artificial intelligence. Officials say this is part of an effort to prepare students for future careers, but one key challenge is that many teachers lack AI training.
New York City schools use computer simulations to help prepare new principals, writes Larry Woodbridge, executive director of principal preparation programs in the New York City Department of Education. Woodbridge shares how simulations can help offer a safe environment to tackle difficult conversations and situations, including exploring racial inequity and school safety.
US colleges, universities and schools are using virtual-reality experiences to recruit students from other countries. Kevin Merges, executive director of Global Education Programs at Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, N.J., says VR can improve students' connection to a school by 40% to 70%.
High-school athletic events in Los Angeles increasingly are fodder for social media -- whether it be a spectacular dunk that could go viral or a selfie with a standout player. Also popular are clips of the teenage children of well-known professional basketball players, including LeBron James and Scottie Pippen, showing off their own athletic skills.
Sixteen school districts across South Carolina are trying out RoboKind's interactive robot Milo to teach communication, social, emotional and behavioral skills to students with autism. Some research shows that technology such as robots may better engage students with the neurological disorder.
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