Sydney Johnson

?Researchers Ask: Does Academia Need Another Alternative to For-Profit Scholarly Platforms?

Researchers have long raised doubts over sharing work on venture-backed publishing platforms. Some scholars have even pushed for an exodus from sites like, pointing out that tech companies have access to academics’ work, and prioritize profit.

Brainwave Headsets Are Making Their Way Into Classrooms—For Meditation and Discipline

At first glance, the brochure for the Muse headset might look more like a religious leaflet than a technology instruction guide. There’s an image of sunlight shining through trees and a message that reads, “Welcome to the Muse Community.”

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?Invasive or Informative? Educators Discuss Pros and Cons of Learning Analytics

An online discussion platform called Piazza has taken off among faculty at the University of California at Berkeley in recent years. Professors can easily integrate the platform into an LMS, allow students to engage with one another and course material online, and faculty see data on how student are learning. Even more attractive: It’s free.But there’s a catch. To make money, Piazza sells student data to third parties via a revenue model it called “Piazza Careers,” a recruiting service that allows companies to find potential employees (i.e. students) based on their information.

In the Era of Microcredentials, Institutions Look to Blockchain to Verify Learning

Philipp Schmidt began thinking about the potential for blockchain in higher education long before the technology became a buzzword.

This Company Wants to Gather Student Brainwave Data to Measure ‘Engagement’

If Blade Runner had a classroom scene, it might look something like the promotional video by BrainCo, Inc. Students sit at desks wearing electronic headbands that report EEG data back to a teacher’s dashboard, and that information purports to measure students’ attention levels. The video’s narrator explains: “School administrators can use big data analysis to determine when students are better able to concentrate.”

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Pencil Versus Keyboard: What Do We Know About Learning How to Write?

Like many skills, good writing comes with good practice. Just ask Jane Hyatt Yolen, author and editor of more than 280 books, whose most notable quotes include: “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”

Who’s Holding Coding Bootcamp Accountability Accountable?

When it comes to reporting graduation and job-placement rates, the numbers don’t always add up at for-profit coding bootcamps. That showed this week when New York-based Flatiron School, a coding bootcamp, was fined $375,000 by the state’s attorney general for misleading advertising and operating without a license.

Faculty Say Online Programs ‘Cannibalize’ On-Campus Courses at George Washington University

Who oversees online programs at colleges? The question sparked an internal investigation at George Washington University, after a lawsuit last year raised questions about whether the academic quality of online programs was on par with their in-person versions.“There was concern among members of the faculty senate that little was known about online programs at the university, how large there were or how many there were,” says Kurt Darr, professor emeritus of hospital administration at GW. “The purpose was to investigate what we have and how it was being managed.”

Public Educators Share Fallouts on Personalized Learning, Privatization and Edtech

Educators from around the U.S. gathered in Oakland this past weekend for the Network for Public Education’s (NPE) national conference, where several sessions centered around a common theme: protecting public education amid an era of federal budget cuts and concerns over the increased presence of technology in classrooms.

Woz U? Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Launches Online School to Teach Software Development

He may be best known for co-founding Apple with Steve Jobs, but now, Steve Wozniak is dipping his toes in online education. Today, Wozniak announced his latest project, an online school called Woz U, which aims to provide tech training to aspiring software developers. The startup venture is part of Southern Careers Institute (SCI), a private for-profit school based in Austin, Texas. The business offers 15 online and in-person programs in fields such as technology, medical services and cosmetology.

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