ECAR collaborated with 157 institutions to collect responses from 13,451 faculty respondents across 7 countries about their technology experiences. ECAR also collaborated with 124 institutions to collect responses from 43,559 undergraduate students across 10 countries about their technology experiences. Please see the 2017 student and faculty studies hub for more about this year’s research.
When it comes to meeting technological support needs, students’ default modality is DIY. Students are more than twice as likely to figure out solutions to technology problems on their own, to search online sources, or to ask a friend than they are to use their campus help desk. Contacting the vendor or company to fix a technology problem is the last resort.
Laptops are king, smartphones are queen, and tablets are on the way out.
Students’ experiences with their instructors’ use of and approach to technology in the classroom are a mixed bag. A majority of students said most of their instructors have adequate technology skills, use technology to enhance learning, and encourage the use of collaborative technology tools. However, students said fewer faculty use technology for sophisticated learning tasks (e.g., engagement, creative and critical thinking), and relatively few faculty ask students to use their own devices for in-class work.
Students are choosing sides in the online versus face-to-face debate. For the fourth year in a row, the number of students preferring a blended learning environment that includes some to mostly online components has increased. The number of students preferring completely face-to-face or completely online courses continues to dwindle. The number of students expressing no preference has been cut by more than half since 2014.
Students are satisfied with features of their LMS…except when they aren’t.Students have favorable opinions about the basic features and functionalities of their LMS. But, the more sophisticated the task and the more engagement required of students, the less happy they tend to be. This may be a function of the tools, the instructors who use them, or both.
Students would like their instructors to use more technology in their classes.Technologies that provide students with something (e.g., lecture capture, early-alert systems, LMS, search tools) are more desired than those that require students to give something (e.g., social media, use of their own devices, in-class polling tools). We speculate that sound pedagogy and technology use tied to specific learning outcomes and goals may improve the desirability of the latter.
Students reported that faculty are banning or discouraging the use of laptops, tablets, and (especially) smartphones more often than in previous years. Some students reported using their devices (especially their smartphones) for nonclass activities, which might explain the instructor policies they are experiencing. However, they also reported using their devices for productive classroom activities (e.g., taking notes, researching additional sources of information, and instructor-directed activities).
See the 2013 report for a full list of key messages, findings, and supporting data.
Students recognize the value of technology but still need guidance when it comes to better using it for academics.
Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning to experiment with MOOCs.
Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.
Students value their privacy, and using technology to connect with them has its limits.
p. 10 students are generally confident in their prepraredness to use technology for course work, but those who are interested in more tech training favor “in calss” guidance over separate training options.
Covid-19 is being described as both a crisis and an opportunity for higher education. But how “opportunity” is defined depends on where one stands in the academic hierarchy. While some hope the pandemic provides a chance to reverse troubling trends toward the adjunctification and casualization of academic labor, administrators may see it as a different sort of opportunity, to realign institutional priorities or exert greater authority over their faculties.
A statement by the Tenure for the Common Good group offers 20 recommendations for administrators, including that they “resist using the current crisis as an opportunity to exploit contingency further by hiring more contingent faculty into precarious positions.”
As faculty members are asked to take on greater teaching, advising, and administrative responsibilities, faculty development and retention “will be more important to institutional resilience — survival — than ever before,” Kiernan Mathews, executive director and principal investigator of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, wrote on Twitter.
To DePaola, the pandemic doesn’t pose new problems to academe as much as it magnifies existing ones. “Everything was held together with gum and paper clips, and coronavirus came and just sort of knocked it all down at once,” DePaola said. “I think none of the crises that this virus is causing are new. They’re just accelerated greatly. And the contradictions of the system are heightened all at once for people to see.”
The Small World Network of College Classes: Implications for Epidemic Spread on a University Campus
Beginning in March 2020, many universities shifted to on-line instruction to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, and many now face the difficult decision of whether and how to resume in-person instruction. This article uses complete transcript data from a medium-sized residential American university to map the two-node network that connects students and classes through course enrollments. We show that the enrollment networks of the university and its liberal arts college are “small-world” networks, characterized by high clustering and short average path lengths. In both networks, at least 98% of students are in the main component, and most students can reach each other in two steps. Removing very large courses slightly elongates path lengths, but does not disconnect these networks or eliminate all alternative paths between students. Although students from different majors tend to be clustered together, gateway courses and distributional requirements create cross-major integration. We close by discussing the implications of course networks for understanding potential epidemic spread of infection on university campuses.
Institutional support for accessibility technologies
Blended data center (on premises and cloud based)
Incorporation of mobile devices in teaching and learning
Open educational resources
Technologies for improving analysis of student data
Integrated student success planning and advising systems
Mobile apps for enterprise applications
Predictive analytics for student success (institutional level)
At least 35% of institutions are tracking these five technologies in 2020: Support for 5G; Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax, AX Wi-Fi); Identity as a Service (IDaaS); Digital microcredentials (including badging); Uses of the Internet of Things for teaching and learning; and Next-generation digital learning environment
Project Information Literacy, a nonprofit research institution that explores how college students find, evaluate and use information. It was commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Harvard Graduate School of Education.
focus groups and interviews with 103 undergraduates and 37 faculty members from eight U.S. colleges.
To better equip students for the modern information environment, the report recommends that faculty teach algorithm literacy in their classrooms. And given students’ reliance on learning from their peers when it comes to technology, the authors also suggest that students help co-design these learning experiences.
While informed and critically aware media users may see past the resulting content found in suggestions provided after conducting a search on YouTube, Facebook, or Google, those without these skills, particularly young or inexperienced users, fail to realize the culpability of underlying algorithms in the resultant filter bubbles and echo chambers (Cohen, 2018).
Media literacy education is more important than ever. It’s not just the overwhelming calls to understand the effects of fake news or addressing data breaches threatening personal information, it is the artificial intelligence systems being designed to predict and project what is perceived to be what consumers of social media want.
Literacy in today’s online and offline environments “means being able to use the dominant symbol systems of the culture for personal, aesthetic, cultural, social, and political goals” (Hobbs & Jensen, 2018, p 4).
Definitions of digital literacy can include the ability to use and access digital devices, but studies from the past decade tend to deepen this definition. A commonly cited definition from Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel asserts that digital literacy is “shorthand for the myriad social practices and conceptions of engaging in meaning making mediated by texts that are produced, received, distributed, exchanged etc., via digital codification.”
More recently, scholars including Jennifer Sparrow have suggested even adopting the term digital fluency instead of literacy in order to capture how students may need the “ability to leverage technology to create new knowledge, new challenges, and new problems and to complement these with critical thinking, complex problem solving, and social intelligence to solve the new challenges.”
instructional designers are key players who could take a more visible role in higher education to support educators in bringing explicit instruction on digital literacy engagement into their classes. University staff in instructional design and educational/faculty development spaces consult with instructors, lead workshops, and develop support documentation on a regular basis. People in these roles could be more empowered to have conversations with the instructors they support around building in particular lessons
Douglas Belshaw can be a source of inspiration for understanding how his essential elements of digital literacy may contribute to the development of students’ digital fluencies. In particular, some practices may include:
Integrating the use of different applications and platforms so that students obtain practice in navigating these spaces, learning how to locate relevant and reliable information. For example, guiding students to specific databases that provide articles, books, etc., for your discipline may improve information and digital literacy. This is critical because most students default to Google search and Wikipedia, which may not be where you want them to explore topics.
Developing student’s ability to curate content and how to follow academic integrity guidelines for citations and references.
Establishing the norms and purpose for effective communication in a digital academic space.
at a session on the umbrella concept of “mixed reality” (abbreviated XR) here Thursday, attendees had some questions for the panel’s VR/AR/XR evangelists: Can these tools help students learn? Can institutions with limited budgets pull off ambitious projects? Can skeptical faculty members be convinced to experiment with unfamiliar technology?
Yale has landed on a “hub model” for project development — instructors propose projects and partner with students with technological capabilities to tap into a centralized pool of equipment and funding. (My note: this is what I suggest in my Chapter 2 of Arnheim, Eliot & Rose (2012) Lib Guides)
Several panelists said they had already been getting started on mixed reality initiatives prior to the infusion of support from Educause and HP, which helped them settle on a direction
While 3-D printing might seem to lend itself more naturally to the hard sciences, Yale’s humanities departments have cottoned to the technology as a portal to answering tough philosophical questions.
institutions would be better served forgoing an early investment in hardware and instead gravitating toward free online products like Unity, Organon and You by Sharecare, all of which allow users to create 3-D experiences from their desktop computers.
XR technologies encompassing 3D simulations, modeling, and production.
This project sought to identify
current innovative uses of these 3D technologies,
how these uses are currently impacting teaching and learning, and
what this information can tell us about possible future uses for these technologies in higher education.
p. 5 Extended reality (XR) technologies, which encompass virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), are already having a dramatic impact on pedagogy in higher education. XR is a general term that covers a wide range of technologies along a continuum, with the real world at one end and fully immersive simulations at the other.
p. 6The Campus of the Future project was an exploratory evaluation of 3D technologies for instruction and research in higher education: VR, AR, 3D scanning, and 3D printing. The project sought to identify interesting and novel uses of 3D technology
p. 7 HP would provide the hardware, and EDUCAUSE would provide the methodological expertise to conduct an evaluation research project investigating the potential uses of 3D technologies in higher education learning and research.
The institutions that participated in the Campus of the Future project were selected because they were already on the cutting edge of integrating 3D technology into pedagogy. These institutions were therefore not representative, nor were they intended to be representative, of the state of higher education in the United States. These institutions were selected precisely because they already had a set of use cases for 3D technology available for study
p. 9 At some institutions, the group participating in the project was an academic unit (e.g., the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University; the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University). At these institutions, the 3D technology provided by HP was deployed for use more or less exclusively by students and faculty affiliated with the particular academic unit.
p. 10 definitions
there is not universal agreement on the definitions of these
terms or on the scope of these technologies. Also, all of these technologies
currently exist in an active marketplace and, as in many rapidly changing markets, there is a tendency for companies to invent neologisms around 3D technology.
A 3D scanner is not a single device but rather a combination of hardware and
software. There are generally two pieces of hardware: a laser scanner and a digital
camera. The laser scanner bounces laser beams off the surface of an object to
determine its shape and contours.
p. 11 definitions
Virtual reality means that the wearer is completely immersed in a computer
simulation. Several types of VR headsets are currently available, but all involve
a lightweight helmet with a display in front of the eyes (see figure 2). In some
cases, this display may simply be a smartphone (e.g., Google Cardboard); in other
cases, two displays—one for each eye—are integrated into the headset (e.g., HTC
Vive). Most commercially available VR rigs also include handheld controllers
that enable the user to interact with the simulation by moving the controllers
in space and clicking on finger triggers or buttons.
p. 12 definitions
Augmented reality provides an “overlay” of some type over the real world through
the use of a headset or even a smartphone.
In an active technology marketplace, there is a tendency for new terms to be
invented rapidly and for existing terms to be used loosely. This is currently
happening in the VR and AR market space. The HP VR rig and the HTC Vive
unit are marketed as being immersive, meaning that the user is fully immersed in
a simulation—virtual reality. Many currently available AR headsets, however, are
marketed not as AR but rather as MR (mixed reality). These MR headsets have a
display in front of the eyes as well as a pair of front-mounted cameras; they are
therefore capable of supporting both VR and AR functionality.
p. 13 Implementation
Technical issues can generally be divided into two broad categories: hardware
problems and software problems. There is, of course, a common third category:
p. 15 the technology learning curve
The well-known diffusion of innovations theoretical framework articulates five
adopter categories: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and
laggards. Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 5th ed. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003).
It is also likely that staff in the campus IT unit or center for teaching and learning already know who (at least some of) these individuals are, since such faculty members are likely to already have had contact with these campus units.
Students may of course also be innovators and early adopters, and in fact
several participating institutions found that some of the most creative uses of 3D technology arose from student projects
p. 30 Zeynep Tufekci, in her book Twitter and Tear Gas
definition: There is no necessary distinction between AR and VR; indeed, much research
on the subject is based on a conception of a “virtuality continuum” from entirely
real to entirely virtual, where AR lies somewhere between those ends of the
spectrum. Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino, “A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays,” IEICE Transactions on Information Systems, vol. E77-D, no. 12 (1994); Steve Mann, “Through the Glass, Lightly,” IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 31, no. 3 (2012): 10–14.
For the future of 3D technology in higher education to be realized, that
technology must become as much a part of higher education as any technology:
the learning management system (LMS), the projector, the classroom. New
technologies and practices generally enter institutions of higher education as
initiatives. Several active learning classroom initiatives are currently under
way,36 for example, as well as a multi-institution open educational resources
(OER) degree initiative.37
p. 32 Storytelling
Some scholars have argued that all human communication
is based on storytelling;41 certainly advertisers have long recognized that
storytelling makes for effective persuasion,42 and a growing body of research
shows that narrative is effective for teaching even topics that are not generally
thought of as having a natural story, for example, in the sciences.43
p. 33 accessibility
The experience of Gallaudet University highlights one of the most important
areas for development in 3D technology: accessibility for users with disabilities.
p. 34 instructional design
For that to be the case, 3D technologies must be incorporated into the
instructional design process for building and redesigning courses. And for that
to be the case, it is necessary for faculty and instructional designers to be familiar
with the capabilities of 3D technologies. And for that to be the case, it may not be necessary but would certainly be helpful for instructional designers to collaborate closely with the staff in campus IT units who support and maintain this hardware.
Every institution of higher education has a slightly different organizational structure, of course, but these two campus units are often siloed. This siloing may lead to considerable friction in conducting the most basic organizational tasks, such as setting up meetings and apportioning responsibilities for shared tasks. Nevertheless, IT units and centers for teaching and learning are almost compelled to collaborate in order to support faculty who want to integrate 3D technology into their teaching. It is necessary to bring the instructional design expertise of a center for teaching and learning to bear on integrating 3D technology into an instructor’s teaching (My note: and where does this place SCSU?) Therefore, one of the most critical areas in which IT units and centers for teaching and learning can collaborate is in assisting instructors to develop this integration and to develop learning objects that use 3D technology. p. 35 For 3D technology to really gain traction in higher education, it will need to be easier for instructors to deploy without such a large support team.
p. 35 Sites such as Thingiverse, Sketchfab, and Google Poly are libraries of freely
available, user-created 3D models.
ClassVR is a tool that enables the simultaneous delivery of a simulation to
multiple headsets, though the simulation itself may still be single-user.
p. 37 data management:
An institutional repository is a collection of an institution’s intellectual output, often consisting of preprint journal articles and conference papers and the data sets behind them.49 An institutional repository is often maintained by either the library or a partnership between the library and the campus IT unit. An institutional repository therefore has the advantage of the long-term curatorial approach of librarianship combined with the systematic backup management of the IT unit. (My note: leaves me wonder where does this put SCSU)
Sharing data sets is critical for collaboration and increasingly the default for
scholarship. Data is as much a product of scholarship as publications, and there
is a growing sentiment among scholars that it should therefore be made public.50
United States digital literacy frameworks tend to focus on educational policy details and personal empowerment, the latter encouraging learners to become more effective students, better creators, smarter information consumers, and more influential members of their community.
National policies are vitally important in European digital literacy work, unsurprising for a continent well populated with nation-states and struggling to redefine itself, while still trying to grow economies in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent financial pressures
African digital literacy is more business-oriented.
Middle Eastern nations offer yet another variation, with a strong focus on media literacy. As with other regions, this can be a response to countries with strong state influence or control over local media. It can also represent a drive to produce more locally-sourced content, as opposed to consuming material from abroad, which may elicit criticism of neocolonialism or religious challenges.
p. 14 Digital literacy for Humanities: What does it mean to be digitally literate in history, literature, or philosophy? Creativity in these disciplines often involves textuality, given the large role writing plays in them, as, for example, in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s instructor’s guide. In the digital realm, this can include web-based writing through social media, along with the creation of multimedia projects through posters, presentations, and video. Information literacy remains a key part of digital literacy in the humanities. The digital humanities movement has not seen much connection with digital literacy, unfortunately, but their alignment seems likely, given the turn toward using digital technologies to explore humanities questions. That development could then foster a spread of other technologies and approaches to the rest of the humanities, including mapping, data visualization, text mining, web-based digital archives, and “distant reading” (working with very large bodies of texts). The digital humanities’ emphasis on making projects may also increase
Digital Literacy for Business: Digital literacy in this world is focused on manipulation of data, from spreadsheets to more advanced modeling software, leading up to degrees in management information systems. Management classes unsurprisingly focus on how to organize people working on and with digital tools.
Digital Literacy for Computer Science: Naturally, coding appears as a central competency within this discipline. Other aspects of the digital world feature prominently, including hardware and network architecture. Some courses housed within the computer science discipline offer a deeper examination of the impact of computing on society and politics, along with how to use digital tools. Media production plays a minor role here, beyond publications (posters, videos), as many institutions assign multimedia to other departments. Looking forward to a future when automation has become both more widespread and powerful, developing artificial intelligence projects will potentially play a role in computer science literacy.
In traditional instruction, students’ first contact with new ideas happens in class, usually through direct instruction from the professor; after exposure to the basics, students are turned out of the classroom to tackle the most difficult tasks in learning — those that involve application, analysis, synthesis, and creativity — in their individual spaces. Flipped learning reverses this, by moving first contact with new concepts to the individual space and using the newly-expanded time in class for students to pursue difficult, higher-level tasks together, with the instructor as a guide.
Let’s take a look at some of the myths about flipped learning and try to find the facts.
Myth: Flipped learning is predicated on recording videos for students to watch before class.
Fact: Flipped learning does not require video. Although many real-life implementations of flipped learning use video, there’s nothing that says video must be used. In fact, one of the earliest instances of flipped learning — Eric Mazur’s peer instruction concept, used in Harvard physics classes — uses no video but rather an online text outfitted with social annotation software. And one of the most successful public instances of flipped learning, an edX course on numerical methods designed by Lorena Barba of George Washington University, uses precisely one video. Video is simply not necessary for flipped learning, and many alternatives to video can lead to effective flipped learning environments [http://rtalbert.org/flipped-learning-without-video/].
Fact: Flipped learning optimizes face-to-face teaching. Flipped learning may (but does not always) replace lectures in class, but this is not to say that it replaces teaching. Teaching and “telling” are not the same thing.
Myth: Flipped learning has no evidence to back up its effectiveness.
Fact: Flipped learning research is growing at an exponential pace and has been since at least 2014. That research — 131 peer-reviewed articles in the first half of 2017 alone — includes results from primary, secondary, and postsecondary education in nearly every discipline, most showing significant improvements in student learning, motivation, and critical thinking skills.
Myth: Flipped learning is a fad.
Fact: Flipped learning has been with us in the form defined here for nearly 20 years.
Myth: People have been doing flipped learning for centuries.
Fact: Flipped learning is not just a rebranding of old techniques. The basic concept of students doing individually active work to encounter new ideas that are then built upon in class is almost as old as the university itself. So flipped learning is, in a real sense, a modern means of returning higher education to its roots. Even so, flipped learning is different from these time-honored techniques.
Myth: Students and professors prefer lecture over flipped learning.
Fact: Students and professors embrace flipped learning once they understand the benefits. It’s true that professors often enjoy their lectures, and students often enjoy being lectured to. But the question is not who “enjoys” what, but rather what helps students learn the best.They know what the research says about the effectiveness of active learning
Assertion: Flipped learning provides a platform for implementing active learning in a way that works powerfully for students.
The Exposure Approach: we don’t provide a way for participants to determine if they learned anything new or now have the confidence or competence to apply what they learned.
The Exemplar Approach: from ‘show and tell’ for adults to show, tell, do and learn.
The Tutorial Approach: Getting a group that can meet at the same time and place can be challenging. That is why many faculty report a preference for self-paced professional development.build in simple self-assessment checks. We can add prompts that invite people to engage in some sort of follow up activity with a colleague. We can also add an elective option for faculty in a tutorial to actually create or do something with what they learned and then submit it for direct or narrative feedback.
The Course Approach: a non-credit format, these have the benefits of a more structured and lengthy learning experience, even if they are just three to five-week short courses that meet online or in-person once every week or two.involve badges, portfolios, peer assessment, self-assessment, or one-on-one feedback from a facilitator
The Academy Approach: like the course approach, is one that tends to be a deeper and more extended experience. People might gather in a cohort over a year or longer.Assessment through coaching and mentoring, the use of portfolios, peer feedback and much more can be easily incorporated to add a rich assessment element to such longer-term professional development programs.
The Mentoring Approach: The mentors often don’t set specific learning goals with the mentee. Instead, it is often a set of structured meetings, but also someone to whom mentees can turn with questions and tips along the way.
The Coaching Approach: A mentor tends to be a broader type of relationship with a person.A coaching relationship tends to be more focused upon specific goals, tasks or outcomes.
The Peer Approach:This can be done on a 1:1 basis or in small groups, where those who are teaching the same courses are able to compare notes on curricula and teaching models. They might give each other feedback on how to teach certain concepts, how to write syllabi, how to handle certain teaching and learning challenges, and much more. Faculty might sit in on each other’s courses, observe, and give feedback afterward.
The Self-Directed Approach:a self-assessment strategy such as setting goals and creating simple checklists and rubrics to monitor our progress. Or, we invite feedback from colleagues, often in a narrative and/or informal format. We might also create a portfolio of our work, or engage in some sort of learning journal that documents our thoughts, experiments, experiences, and learning along the way.
In 2014, administrators at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in Charlotte, North Carolina, began talks with members of the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges and North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) leadership about starting a CBE program.
Building on an existing project at CPCC for identifying the elements of a digital learning environment (DLE), which was itself influenced by the EDUCAUSE publication The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment: A Report on Research,1 the committee reached consensus on a DLE concept and a shared lexicon: the “Digital Learning Environment Operational Definitions,
Blockchains, which use advanced cryptography to store information across networks of computers, could eliminate the need for trusted third parties, like banks, in transactions, legal agreements, and other contracts. The most ardent blockchain-heads believe it has the power to reshape the global financial system, and possibly even the internet as we know it.
Now, as the technology expands from a fringe hacker toy to legitimate business applications, opportunists have flooded the field. Some of the seekers are mercenaries pitching shady or fraudulent tokens, others are businesses looking to cash in on a hot trend, and still others are true believers in the revolutionary and disruptive powers of distributed networks.
Mentions of blockchains and digital currencies on corporate earnings calls doubled in 2017 over the year prior, according to Fortune. Last week at Consensus, the country’s largest blockchain conference, 100 sponsors, including top corporate consulting firms and law firms, hawked their wares.
Here is a noncomprehensive list of the ways blockchain promoters say they will change the world. They run the spectrum from industry-specific (a blockchain project designed to increase blockchain adoption) to global ambitions (fixing the global supply chain’s apparent $9 trillion cash flow issue).
Things Blockchain Technology Will Fix
Bots with nefarious intent
People not taking their medicine
Device storage that could be used for bitcoin mining