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hybrid learning



Social media is not only a part of our social lives but professional as well. LinkedIn is a website and company that takes this idea of social media, but allows users to boast and explain their professional background and aspirations. Students should be getting connected to this online professional website to look for opportunities that they might not possibly get anywhere else. However, this website also has an app that is available in the Google Play, Apple, and Microsoft store for smart phones and tablets.

The reason why this app is innovative is because you can take your professionalism and opportunities on-the-go. The app allows you to message, view profiles, edit your own profile, and request/deny connections with other professionals. LinkedIn is the type of website that students rarely log into, however with the app you can have the same capability as using the website on your phone. You can opt to receive notifications when people view your profile, messages that you receive from other professionals, and when people request to connect with you.

Opportunities for professional growth are always available from a multitude of resources. LinkedIn is one of those resources that can help kick-start your career. Most internship applications will request your LinkedIn profile URL in order to scope out information that they might not have gotten from your resume or cover letter. Not only can people see your professional history and bio, LinkedIn allows other users to endorse other users on skills that they might have seen you use. Having a lot of endorsements can help you get an opportunity that professionals are looking for in an employee.

Library from the Future

With the technology that is already accessible and the technology that is soon to come it is no doubt that it will have a substantial effect on higher education. In an article on the Campus Technology website they examine the exploratory trip of two secondary education students who determine the the academic potential of different tech seen today. This assignment was given to them by their university professor Erica Hamilton who claims that the goal of this assignment is for the students to explore new technology and to start thinking like teachers on how they can be used for educational purposes.

Grand Valley State University’s Technology Showcase provides an immersive environment to interact with an array of emerging technologies.


Hamilton sends her students to a technology showcase room in the new library at Grand Valley State University in Missouri. Libraries across the country are redefining themselves as learning commons and many are adding maker spaces. But Grand Valley has gone a step further, because its showcase provides an immersive environment to interact with an array of emerging technologies ranging from Oculus Rift to Double Robotics’ telepresence robots to 3D printers. By continuously researching and monitoring trends, the showcase focuses on identifying emerging technologies that have potential applications across campus. The article discusses how this space makes a great addition to a library where students can be exposed to a vast amount of knowledge from many different apsects.

Follow this link to read the full article

Making Lectures More Interactive

Bruce Hay, a biology teacher at the California Institute of Technology, has recently come up with a way to integrate more participation into his classroom and, as a result, seen an increase in the average grades of his students.

He started using an app called SKIES (Su-Kam Intelligent Education Systems) that allows students to create an interconnected web of knowledge about a topic that a professor is teaching. Hay states that “if you don’t have participation, then you’re not getting any feedback on what students are learning…It’s just a half an hour monologue without really knowing that you’re getting through to anyone.” He also explains that it is important that the students become more interactive instead of a passive audience.


Instructors and students are able to post class materials that are linked together, becoming a “class tree” (Credit: Campus Technology)


Anyone can use the app – university students and professors, or K-12 students and teachers. The material that students can post on SKIES can range from text, pictures, drawings, audio clips, links or videos. This also lets students learn from each other rather than just the teacher being the sole source of knowledge in the class.

While Hay is lecturing in his classroom, you will be able to see yellow bubbles pop up on the powerpoint he is presenting behind him. Those bubbles are the questions and comments that students are leaving on the app. Students are also able to thumbs up or thumbs down slides; green slides will have a thumbs up, while red slides have a thumbs down. Hay will be able to see which slides students were able to grasp versus which might have been confusing. Some instructors worry, however, that students who post things onto the app during a live lecture will become distracted. Some professors then ask that the students post only after the lecture, as students already seem to be multitasking enough during class.

More information on this topic can be found on the main article here.

5 Lessons Worth Learning About E-Portfolios


The University of Alaska discusses their recommendations to effectively implement electronic portfolios to gain success from students and faculty through 5 main steps:

1) Promote from the Bottom Up

The university’s faculty senate decided to take a more “grassroots approach” and slowly introduce the portfolios to the campus instead of making it mandatory. They worked on gathering appropriate resources for two years to support the eportfolio. Furthermore, they discussed this idea with the provost office and student government.

2) Dedicate a Team

There needs to be a proper team to manage the work of the eportfolios, and it needs to not be seen as just an IT or faculty development project. The team would need to both do the mundane activities, such as fitting the portfolio to an IT architecture, as well as the essential tasks such as creating a focal point where conversations can begin, be fostered, and then matured. Paul Wasko, an eportfolio initiative coordinator, and Heather Caldwell, an eportfolio strategist, worked with students and faculty to integrate them to the curriculum, courses, and created workshops for them. There would also need to be a team of student coaches to help out professors and students.

3) Master the art of the RFP

The university had to go through a request for proposal (RFP) process that required them to propose to several vendors. They chose the company Digication because they responded in the best terms by addressing every one of the requirements. They were also the cheapest option for them.

4) Hire vendor as the team player

Digication CEO Jeffrey Yan and President Kelly Driscoll participate in advisory committee meetings to “bring examples and understanding of how their tool worked in other universities”. The university was looking for a partnership with the vendor, not a relationship.

5) Identify new uses in unexpected areas

The university is experimenting with the functionality of the portfolio in order to further expand it. One example is Caldwell asking some faculty to use Digication to submit their PMT files. They are also trying to eliminate paper forms as much as they can by digitizing forms like peer reviews. The university is trying to fully integrate eportfolios into the school system, and one way they are advertising it is through student orientations.

For more information on this topic, visit the article here

Open Source Resources on Demand

The Campus Computing Survey began in 1990, and it is the largest study that analyzes information technology in American higher education. This year’s survey results were released during the Educause Annual Conference, where top ed-tech officials gather to discuss what’s changed in higher education IT. This year’s survey includes responses from IT leaders at 417 two and four year institutions.

It’s no secret expensive textbooks are not so popular, especially with college students. Kenneth C. Green, the founder of the survey shared that there is a lot of anger surrounding expensive textbooks. Now Open Educational Resources (OER) are starting to look like a viable alternative to expensive textbooks. In 2014, 30.8% of faculty members from public universities responded that they were encouraged by their institutions to use open-source content in their courses. In this year’s survey 42.1% of faculty members from public universities reported that their institutions encouraged faculty members to use open educational resources in their courses.

Although the OER movement is still young, the survey found that IT leaders’ number 1 priority is to help faculty members integrate information technology into their teaching. From the survey 81% of top technology officers at colleges believe that open educational resources will be an important source for instructional material in the next five years.


For more information on this topic click here.