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#HigherEdThursdays – Meeting the Community College Boom

For the past five years we’ve witnessed a surge in demand for community colleges across the U.S. The reasons for this demand are varied. There are professionals who have been let go from work, there are adult learners who desire new skills and there are traditional students continuing their education in greater numbers.

Much of the growth in enrollment can be contributed to students going online to get degrees. According to Instructional Technology Council, online enrollment is up by over five percent between 2012 and 2013, , and with that growth come several challenges.

Both traditional and online learners demand that education be cost-effective. These students include digital natives who have learned with technology since their infancy, and they want customized education. Standardized instruction across classes is becoming a framework of the past. Read More »

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Bringing Back Music Education to Our Schools

February 27, 2014 at 8:38 am PST

While many are arguing the existence of a comeback in liberal arts education, too many public schools are seeing a decline in arts education due to budget and resource cuts. The benefits of music and arts education are well documented, but we continue to see schools losing music programs.

Unfortunately, cutting music programs in public schools tends to impact low-income students disproportionately, as private access is available to those who can afford and support it. However, people and technology are making a difference and finding a way to bring music education to schools in new ways. Read More »

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Will The Internet of Everything Change the Way Students Learn?

August 16, 2013 at 9:30 am PST

Think back to your favorite class in school. How would that class be different if it took place today? My favorite was a 7th grade art class. While it’s hard to imagine Mrs. Vincent in a modern classroom with a tablet or smartphone, I know she would be on the cutting edge of art education.

The dynamics of what a traditional classroom looks like have evolved from the old chalkboard and teacher-centered classrooms into connected technology hubs, with online lesson plans, virtual fieldtrips, flipped classrooms and MOOCs. As technology advances, it is changing the way students learn and access education.

In his recent blog post, Dave Evans examines what the future of education looks like through the lens of of the Internet of Everything (IoE). Students will experience a rich virtual classroom—attending lectures, asking questions, participating in real-time discussions with instructors anywhere in the world. Read More »

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Midland County, Texas Builds Library of the Future

July 18, 2013 at 8:48 am PST

What happens when libraries transform from traditional, quiet places to engaging spaces that inspire learning? The old perceptions of libraries are swept away and energized by interactive, connected learning for the entire community.

That’s exactly what the strategy is at the Midland County Library in Texas. When the county decided to upgrade one of its public libraries, it was determined to create an innovative facility to change people’s perceptions of a traditional library.  The library partnered with Cisco to develop its IT infrastructure, incorporating interactive technology to entice new populations to visit the library, creating “the library of the future.” As a result, the Midland County Library now has a state-of-the-art, interactive facility, featuring digital walls, e-book rentals and training programs on how to use new technology.

As I’ve written today on the education blog, the technology transformation is proving successful; since its opening, the new library has had more than 1,000 visitors daily.

This weekend, if you are attending the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual conference in Fort Worth, join me for Midland County’s 8am workshop on Sunday -- Using Interactive Technology to Drive Citizen Engagement in room 202 D.

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Midland County, Texas Builds Library of the Future

July 18, 2013 at 8:48 am PST

Technology is a wonderful thing, at least in my opinion; especially when it’s used to inspire creativity, knowledge and to make learning fun and interactive. New and interactive technologies inspired the Midland County Library in Texas to change people’s perceptions of what a library can and should be. Coined as the “library of the future”, community members now engage in a wide-variety of activities inspired by not only the books on the shelves, but the entire world around them.

Take a look at the video and see how Midland County is changing the definition of “library”:

Changing longstanding perceptions of public libraries is necessary to attract children and adults to visit, read, check out books and ultimately, learn.  When a library positively changes the way people interact and gain information, education goals become limitless. The technology transformation is proving successful too; since its opening, the new library has had more than 1,000 visitors daily.

Midland County Library partnered with Cisco to develop its IT infrastructure, helping incorporate new technologies, such as interactive digital signage, to entice new visitors to the library. The a state-of-the-art, interactive facility features digital walls, e-book rentals and training programs on how to use new technology.

This weekend, if you are attending the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual conference in Fort Worth, join me for Midland County’s 8am workshop on Sunday -- Using Interactive Technology to Drive Citizen Engagement in room 202 D.

 

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