Pearls of the Week: News you can use in Higher Ed and Ed Tech tools

Image representing Pearltrees as depicted in C...This week was an interesting week for Pearls. For those of you new to my Pearls, Pearls are bookmarks; noteworthy articles, blog posts and resources which I’ve gathered and then organize into a Pearltree. Pearltrees is my application of choice for archiving and collecting digital content. Note: In a previous post I described how I use Pearltrees – for cataloguing and archiving digital information for work and personal projects, click here to read the post.

In this post I’ll share a selection of pearls [bookmarks] from this past week that focus on 1) Higher Ed, the challenges, storms and more, and 2) what’s new in Ed technology tools.  A summary of each article/resource follows, with the corresponding link.

Higher Education News: Challenges, storms and more

  1. Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute recently released a significant and weighty report on the state of higher education. The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm sought to answer the question, ‘what effect has education had on employment in the current Global economic crisis’? The results are interesting. So much so, I believe the report has achieved one of its objectives which was to stimulate dialogue about that state of education and its role today in job creation and economic recovery. Key Findings:
  • The job recovery numbers (2012) from the latest recession has increased the divide between the less educated and more educated.
  • The most significant job losses (2008 – 2010) were among the group with a high school diploma or less.
  • Post secondary enrollment spiked during the peak recession years (2009 – 2010).
  • Men’s enrollment numbers in Higher Ed programs are increasing, and males are entering fields traditionally dominated by women such as nursing, and life sciences.
  • To download the 46-page PDF report and/or for more information, visit the The College Advantage homepage, click here

Reaction and Commentary
A Degree Still Matters, Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
College Degrees Aren’t Umbrellas, George Leef, Minding the Campus
Podcast: Discussion on The College Advantage, Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

2. A Strategic Vision for Universities in 21st Century. The Bain Report completed in conjunction with University of North Dallas Texas was not well received by some upon it’s release. Apparently, the results and recommendations did not sit too well with an advisory panel of faculty and staff at the University, who had some very different views of what a 21st century university would look like. So much so, that there was a call by the university to suppress the results of the report. An interesting read for sure.

No Thanks Bain, Kevin Kiley, Inside Higher Ed
UNT Dallas Doesn’t Want you to see this Report, Holly Hacker, Dallas Morning News

Ed Tech Tools in the News

1. UnderStoodit. This app was launched in May 2012, yet I read about it just this past week. More applicable to in-class education, I believe it has great potential in Higher Ed traditional classroom settings. Understoodit is a web app that runs on virtually any smart phone, tablet, or notebook that is connected to the Internet. It allows students to anonymously, and in real-time, indicate if they understand a portion of a lecture when polled by the professor.

The potential is great for in-class professors to engage students and get a ‘read’ on whether students are understanding lecture content. Teachers get instant feedback using their own devices and can modify their lectures in the moment to increase understanding.

2. Zoom Conferencing.  I am big fan of Walt Mossberg’s column in the WSJ, Personal Technology. This past week he reviewed a new video conferencing application, Zoom. He compares Zoom to Google + Hangouts which I’ve been testing with my team at our workplace. Zoom is appealing as users do not require an account or sign-up to participate [as long as they are not the initiator of the call]. I’ll be testing this tool over the next month. Click here for the article from Walt M.

If interested in viewing more of my bookmarks, please visit my Pearltrees, click here.