Higher Ed Flexibility
In this episode, Ricky and Kristy discuss the Ed Tech news of the week and hoe higher ed flexibility can improve student retention and graduation rates.
Ed Tech News RunDown
A Clever Tool to Evaluate Ed Tech
Ed Surge reports on a clever tool that measures how students use ed tech and whether or not it works. The tool is called Clever Goals and it was piloted in 20 districts last fall. The main objectives of Clever Goals is to make it easier to track what students are using, how much they are using it, and whether it “work”… which has long been an issue for ed tech products. Those who try to track it often end up with frustration and nightmarish spreadsheets. The Clever Tools interface makes it a much more pleasing experience as the data is collected in software and displayed in a very friendly User Interface. They are adding more tech tools to their portal and if you feel the pain of not knowing how useful an ed tech product really is… maybe this could help out. My only real question is how it measures the success of the software. I can see that it tracks usage and progress which is great but it seems like more data would need to be parsed in terms of student success like grades or standardized test scores.
An Entirely Online Community College
Ed Surge reports that California could soon have its first fully online community college. In the California state budget proposal released this week, Governor Jerry Brown called for $120 million to create the fully online commuity college, opening by fall of 2019. The target demographic is “students who do not yet have a postsecondary credential and whose schedules do not fit into traditional, classroom-based settings”
Areas of focus for the community college would be advanced manufacturing, healthcare, child development and in-home support services.
Some areas of concern with the online community college would be seat time vs. competency based programs and student success rates. . We’ll see if this proposal goes to the next level, which would be the California State legislature.
Higher Ed Flexibility
Ed Tech Magazine reports on ways higher education can help student retention by using tech that provides students easy flexibility. They mention that only 61% of first time, full time, college students complete a bachelor’s degree within 8 years. A number that higher ed is working hard to improve for numerous reasons and state funding is one of the bigger reasons and, of course, the desire to service students the best they can. The article suggests that universities work to create apps that are very useful, especially for first time students. Easy access to student support, registering for classes, among other helpful resources. It also mentions using online courses to make sure students can take classes they need, when they need them, and at convenient times. This is a shameless plug for me as my job is only more important as more courses go online but I will mention that the flexibility can also be used for face to face courses as well. Essentially… allow students easy access to helpful resources and give them flexibility and that will help improve graduation rates. And if you have the resources, put money into an app, a good one, that really supports your students.
Rural Districts and Accessibility
This article from Ed Tech Magazine, Rural Districts face challenges and opportunities with technology access, shares 4 ed tech challenges from rural districts. These four include broadband access, funding, people and understanding the why. The article also shares three opportunities for rural districts including smaller size, community, and teachers. More than half of school districts and a third of all public education students are from rural schools. Being from a small in size but large in geography rural district myself, this article is spot on with the challenges, but also benefits of being small.
Check out Episode 61 where we discuss more about data!
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