new D2L Brightspace features

What: Overview of new D2L Brightspace features
When: Monday, April 9 at 10:00 AM
Please join us to learn about the new features that will be available in D2L Brightspace as of June 2, 2018. The session will be recorded.

D2L cloud is the big news. stcloudstate.learn.minnstate.edu will be the link to log into the cloud.

Here are the latest updates on Minnesota State’s move to D2L Brightspace cloud services.
Review a recording (44:07) or slides from the session.  A comprehensive list of features is also available for faculty. This document will be updated again after April 10 and May 7 releases are available at our QA cloud sites.

To explore these new features on your own, go to your “quality assurance” (QA) test site in D2L’s cloud available athttps://YourCampusQA.brightspace.comhttps://stcloudstate.brightspace.com

Quizzes, HTML editor and intelligent agents have videos featuring new stuff.

  • HTML Editor – Edit images in the editor. See video (2:30)
  • Intelligent Agents – See video (4:36)
  • Quiz/Question Library – The ability to search the text of quiz questions. See video (7:00)
  • Quizzes – Add a quiz due date, in addition to a start and end date.
  • Quiz Taking – Students start and submit a quiz with fewer clicks.
  • Manage Dates Tool –  ‘Due Dates’ are now included.
  • Additional features will be rolled out to the QA cloud on April 10 (version 10.8.0) and May 7 (version 10.8.1)
  • ePortfolio -“A digital showcase for the learning journey. It helps you document the experience, reflect on it, and share ideas and achievements as they happen.”  D2L has provided an overview video and a video to help you navigate this new tool for Minnesota State campuses.  Look for an invitation to an overview session on April 18.

IP restriction, which is supposed to alleviate proctoring issues. But this will work only for oncampus quizzes. not for online classes.

The Quiz library being moved to the cloud. Does this mean that the Quiz Library can be shared across institutions? E.g. if faculty from one university is teaching biology and has developed a quiz library content, it can be shared with the content of a faculty from another university? All bells and whistles so far are only secondary to the fact that content generation remains most important for faculty and if faculty can share their test banks, I see this as the most advantageous of moving to a cloud.

eportfolio – new D2L tool. April 18 overview scheduled. so, isn’t in collision with TK20? I, personally, think that LInkedIn is the way to go. I will not mention eFolio MN, since it is a losing bet.
So, how we reconcile the existence of several platforms for eportofolio?

SSO. single sign on. Adobe Connect, Mediaspace and service desk are already on SSO. signing in one application allows to move to D2L without having to sign on again.

https://mnscu.sharepoint.com/sites/ims/SitePages/Home.aspx

on that site, there are resources for faculty: https://mnscu.sharepoint.com/sites/IMS/SitePages/Faculty%20Resources.aspx

parents wary of VR

Your kids and virtual reality: What parents should know

also in : https://usa-businessnews.com/2018/04/04/your-kids-and-virtual-reality-what-parents-should-know/
A whopping 60 percent of parents are worried about the VR’s health effects, according to a new study from Common Sense Media, while others hope the emerging technology will have profound educational benefits because of its highly-engaging nature.
Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media https://www.commonsense.org/education/
Stanford researchers partnered with Common Sense Media, which has done extensive research on children’s media use, to examine the impact of VR on children. Their report includes a national survey of 12,148 adults, 3,613 of whom were parents.
the study notes that 21 percent of households with children already have a VR device and 13 percent are planning to get one, Common Sense found that many parents are scared of exposing their children to such intense experiences.
Bailenson, founder of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, acknowledged the long term effects of VR on developing brains remain unknown. But short term impacts can include dizziness, headache and eye strain.  https://vhil.stanford.edu/projects/
My note: more on VR and empathy in this IMS blog entry: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=virtual+reality+empathy
While 62 percent of parents surveyed believe that VR can provide educational experiences, only 22 percent reported their child actually used VR for learning. The vast majority play games.

VR also has the potential to encourage empathy among small children, experts say, because it builds bonds with virtual characters and settings, though parents surveyed by Common Sense remain skeptical.  

 

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more on VR in education in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=virtual+reality+education

future of Internet

Can the Internet be saved?

https://mondediplo.com/outsidein/can-the-internet-be-saved
In 2014 Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, proposed an online ‘Magna Carta’ to protect the Internet, as a neutral system, from government and corporate manipulation. He was responding after revelations that British and US spy agencies were carrying out mass surveillance programmes; the Cambridge Analytica scandal makes his proposal as relevant as ever.

Luciano Floridi, professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the Oxford Internet Institute, explains that grey power is not ordinary socio-political or military power. It is not the ability to directly influence others, but rather the power to influence those who influence power. To see grey power, you need only look at the hundreds of high-level instances of revolving-door staffing patterns between Google and European governmentsand the U.S. Department of State.

And then there is ‘surveillance capitalism’. Shoshana Zuboff, Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School, proposes that surveillance capitalism is ‘a new logic of accumulation’. The incredible evolution of computer processing power, complex algorithms and leaps in data storage capabilities combine to make surveillance capitalism possible. It is the process of accumulation by dispossession of the data that people produce.

The respected security technologist Bruce Schneier recently applied the insights of surveillance capitalism to the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook crisis.

For Schneier, ‘regulation is the only answer.’ He cites the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect next month, which stipulates that users must consent to what personal data can be saved and how it is used.

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more on the Internet in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=internet

storytelling AR and VR tools

Unleash the Power of Storytelling With These New AR and VR Tools

By Jaime Donally (Columnist)     Apr 4, 2018

Teachers can bring VR stories into the classroom in many different ways for meaningful learning experiences. Imagine a scavenger hunt where students narrate a story based on what they find. Or consider using objects they see to identify vocabulary words or recognize letters. Students should have purpose in their viewing and it should directly connect to standards.

Starting with virtual reality, stories in apps such as Google Spotlight Storiesand YouTube 360 videos have been popular from the start.

Similar to the new movie, Ready Player One, they provide an intense experience where the viewer feels like they are in the center of the story.

Using a mobile device or tablet, the student can start the story and look around the scene based on their interest, rather than the cameras focus. New apps such as Baobab VR have continued to appear with more interactions and engagement.

A creative way to have your students create their own virtual stories is using the app Roundme. Upload your 360 image and add directional sound, links and content. Upload portals to walk the viewer into multiple scenes and then easily share the stories by link to the story.

Newer augmented reality apps that work with ARKit have taken another approach to storytelling.  Augmented Stories and My Hungry Caterpillar.Qurious, a company that is working on a release blending gaming, making and storytelling in one app.

Storyfab, turns our students into the directors of the show

A new AR book, SpyQuest, has moved the immersive experience a big step forward as it helps define the story by bringing the images to life. Through the camera lens on a device, the stories make students the agents in an adventure into the world of espionage. The augmented reality experiences on the images use the accompanying app to scan the scene and provide further insight into the story.

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more on storytelling in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=digital+storytelling

more on VR and storytelling in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=virtual+reality+storytelling

 

Are your phone camera and microphone spying on you

Are your phone camera and microphone spying on you?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/06/phone-camera-microphone-spying

Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viber

Felix Krause described in 2017 that when a user grants an app access to their camera and microphone, the app could do the following:

  • Access both the front and the back camera.
  • Record you at any time the app is in the foreground.
  • Take pictures and videos without telling you.
  • Upload the pictures and videos without telling you.
  • Upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately.
  • Run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions.
  • Livestream the camera on to the internet.
  • Detect if the user is on their phone alone, or watching together with a second person.
  • Upload random frames of the video stream to your web service and run a proper face recognition software which can find existing photos of you on the internet and create a 3D model based on your face.

For instance, here’s a Find my Phone application which a documentary maker installed on a phone, then let someone steal it. After the person stole it, the original owner spied on every moment of the thief’s life through the phone’s camera and microphone.

The government

  • Edward Snowden revealed an NSA program called Optic Nerves. The operation was a bulk surveillance program under which they captured webcam images every five minutes from Yahoo users’ video chats and then stored them for future use. It is estimated that between 3% and 11% of the images captured contained “undesirable nudity”.
  • Government security agencies like the NSA can also have access to your devices through in-built backdoors. This means that these security agencies can tune in to your phone calls, read your messages, capture pictures of you, stream videos of you, read your emails, steal your files … at any moment they please.

Hackers

Hackers can also gain access to your device with extraordinary ease via apps, PDF files, multimedia messages and even emojis.

An application called Metasploit on the ethical hacking platform Kali uses an Adobe Reader 9 (which over 60% of users still use) exploit to open a listener (rootkit) on the user’s computer. You alter the PDF with the program, send the user the malicious file, they open it, and hey presto – you have total control over their device remotely.

Once a user opens this PDF file, the hacker can then:

  • Install whatever software/app they like on the user’s device.
  • Use a keylogger to grab all of their passwords.
  • Steal all documents from the device.
  • Take pictures and stream videos from their camera.
  • Capture past or live audio from the microphone.
  • Upload incriminating images/documents to their PC, and notify the police.

And, if it’s not enough that your phone is tracking you – surveillance cameras in shops and streets are tracking you, too

  • You might even be on this website, InSeCam, which allows ordinary people online to watch surveillance cameras free of charge. It even allows you to search cameras by location, city, time zone, device manufacturer, and specify whether you want to see a kitchen, bar, restaurant or bedroom.

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more on privacy in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=privacy

more on surveillance in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=surveillance

 

learning styles debunked

“Another nail in the coffin for learning styles” – students did not benefit from studying according to their supposed learning style

EDUCATIONAL

Christian Jarrett https://digest.bps.org.uk/2018/04/03/another-nail-in-the-coffin-for-learning-styles-students-did-not-benefit-from-studying-according-to-their-supposed-learning-style/

My note: Thank you Michael Pickle for the FB post: https://www.facebook.com/groups/177622448929227/permalink/1894771380547650/

Venn Diagram

The idea that we learn better when taught via our preferred modality or “learning style” – such as visually, orally, or by doing – is not supported by evidence. Nonetheless the concept remains hugely popular, no doubt in part because learning via our preferred style can lead us to feel like we’ve learned more, even though we haven’t.

For a new paper in Anatomical Sciences Education, a pair of researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have conducted just such an investigation with hundreds of undergrads. Once again however the findings do not support the learning styles concept, reinforcing its reputation among mainstream psychologists as little more than a myth.

one of the most popular online learning styles surveys, the VARK. Taken by millions of people worldwide, the VARK categorises students according to how much they prefer to learn visually, via auditory information, through reading and writing, or through kinaesthetics (by doing or by practical example).

Husmann and O’Loughlin don’t pull any punches in their conclusion. Their findings, they write – especially when considered in the context of past research – “provide strong evidence that instructors and students should not be promoting the concept of learning styles for studying and/or for teaching interventions. Thus, the adage of ‘I can’t learn subject X because I am a visual learner’ should be put to rest once and for all.”

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more on learning styles in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=learning+styles

big city superintendents

Wanted: Big-City School Superintendents

About a dozen cities are jockeying to woo an ever-shrinking pool of qualified candidates for an increasingly demanding job. By Lauren Camera Education ReporterApril 4, 2018, at 11:59 a.m. https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2018-04-04/big-cities-struggle-to-fill-school-superintendent-positions

The annual school superintendent hunting season is open, and as usual, about a dozen cities are jockeying to woo an ever-shrinking pool of qualified candidates for a demanding job that requires one part managerial skills, one part political savvy and one part education-policy acumen for a tenure that, on average, lasts barely more than three years.

To be sure, big-city school superintendents are paid handsomely. In 2014, the salaries of superintendents at cities that are part of the Council for the Great City Schools ranged from $99,000 to $339,000, in addition to platinum health care, pensions, life insurance and other related benefits. Most superintendents of the biggest school districts clear $300,000 easily, with the job of helming New York City schools drawing upward of $500,000.

“Anybody who gets into this knows full well that the demands are extremely high,” Casserly says. “The context in which you do this job now is probably more difficult now than it’s ever been. It does give some people pause.”

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more on school leaders in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=school+leaders

mobile use by students

Students’ Mobile Learning Practices in Higher Education: A Multi-Year Study

Figure 9. Reasons students cited for NOT wanting instructors to use mobile devices, 2012 and 2014

Figure 10. Device use for learning, 2012 and 2014

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more about mobile use in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mobile+use

mobile apps education

5 questions to ask before your university goes mobile

Here’s how to evaluate the potential for mobile solutions

Before they set foot in their first class, incoming college students face a maze of requirements and resources that will be critical to their success. So-called “student supports” abound. Yet forty percent of first-year students don’t return the following year, and a growing number report information overload as they navigate campus life amid newfound independence.

The nine in 10 undergraduates who own smartphones are probably familiar with the xkcd about it. College-aged Americans check their devices more than 150 times per day. So it should be no surprise that a growing body of research suggests that mobile solutions can play a critical role in enhancing the student experience.

1. Is the mobile app native?
We’ve all had the frustrating experience of using a smartphone to navigate a page that was designed for a computer. But when designing native mobile apps, developers start with the small screen, which leads to simpler, cleaner platforms that get rid of the clutter of the desktop browsing experience.

As smartphones overtake laptops and desktops as the most popular way for young people to get online, native design is critical for universities to embrace.

2. Is there a simple content management system?

It’s also critical to explore whether mobile apps integrate with an institution’s existing LMS, CMS, and academic platforms. The most effective apps will allow you to draw upon and translate existing content and resources directly into the mobile experience.
My note: this is why it is worth experimenting with alternatives to LMS, such as Facebook Groups: they allow ready-to-use SIMPLE mobile interface.

3. Does it allow you to take targeted action?

At-risk or disengaged students often require more targeted communication and engagement which, if used effectively, can prevent them falling into those categories in the first place.

Unlike web-based tools, mobile apps should not only communicate information, but also generate insights and reports, highlighting key information into how students use the platform.

4. Does it offer communication and social networking opportunities?

Teenagers who grew up with chatbots and Snapchat expect instant communication to be part of any online interaction. Instead of making students toggle between the student affairs office and conversations with advisors, mobile platforms that offer in-app messaging can streamline the experience and keep users engaged.

5. Does it empower your staff?

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more on mobile in education in this IMS blog:
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mobile+education

best practices in online proctoring

To catch a cheat: Best practices in online proctoring

As online education expands, students are bringing old-fashioned cheating into the digital age

According to the latest report from Babson Survey Research Group, nearly 6.5 million American undergraduates now take at least one course online

1. Listen to students and faculty. Every college, university, or online-learning provider has a different approach to online learning. At Indiana University, where more than 30 percent of students take at least one online course, the online education team has launched Next.IU, an innovative pilot program to solicit feedback from the campus community before making any major edtech decision. By soliciting direct feedback from students and faculty, institutions can avoid technical difficulties and secure support before rolling out the technology campus-wide.

2. Go mobile. Nine in 10 undergraduates own a smartphone, and the majority of online students complete some coursework on a mobile device. Tapping into the near-ubiquity of mobile computing on campus can help streamline the proctoring and verification process. Rather than having to log onto a desktop, students can use features like fingerprint scan and facial recognition that are already integrated into most smartphones to verify their identity directly from their mobile device.

For a growing number of students, mobile technology is the most accessible way to engage in online coursework, so mobile verification provides not only a set of advanced security tools, but also a way for universities to meet students where they are.

3. Learn from the data. Analytical approaches to online test security are still in the early stages. Schools may be more susceptible to online “heists” if they are of a certain size or administer exams in a certain way, but institutions need data to benchmark against their peers and identify pain points in their approach to proctoring.

In an initial pilot with 325,000 students, for instance, we found that cheating rose and fell with the seasons—falling from 6.62 percent to 5.49 percent from fall to spring, but rising to a new high of 6.65 percent during the summer.

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more on proctoring in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=proctoring

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